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Full text of "Richard Savage : a romance of real life"

Presented to the 
library of the 

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO 

by 

Mrs . Andrew Kellogg 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 



http://archive.org/details/richardsavageroOOwhit 



STAN 



D 



A R D 



NOV 



E 



L S. 



N° XCV. 



" No kind of literature is so generally attractive as Fiction. Pictures of 
life and manners, and Stories of adventure, are more eagerly received by 
the many than graver productions, however important these latter may be. 
Apuleius is better remembered by his fable of Cupid and Psyche than by 
his abstruser Platonic writings ; and the Decameron of Boccaccso has out- 
lived the Latin Treatises, and other learned works of that author." 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



COMPLETE IN 



ONE VOLUME. 



LONDON: 



RICHARD BENTLEY, NEW BURLINGTON STREET. 



BELL AND BUADFUTE, EDINBURGH ; 
J. CUMMING, DUBLIN. 



1845. 



NOTICE. 



The Proprietors of Circulating Libraries in all parts of the 
country are compelled by the new Copyright Act to discontinue 
purchasing and lending out a single copy of a foreign edition of 
an English work. The mere having it in their possession ticketed 
and marked as a library book exposes them to 

A PENALTY OF TEN POUNDS. 



Several clauses of the new Copyright Act award severe punish- 
ments for introducing and exposing for sale or hire pirated editions 
of English works, both in Great Britain and in the Colonies. 
The Government absolutely prohibits the introduction of these 
nefarious reprints through the Custom Houses on any pretence 
whatever. The public should be made fully and perfectly aware 
that, in consequence of a Treasury Order to that effect, even singic 
copies of works so pirated, brought in a traveller's baggage, which 
were formerly admissible, are so no longer, unless they be cut, the 
name written in them, and, moreover, so worn and used as to render 
them unfit for sale ; and that if afterwards they are found in a Cir- 
culating Library, the Proprietor is subject to a severe penalty. 
Two clauses of the new Customs Act, moreover, exclude them 
altogether after the commencement of the next financial year. 
These measures will, no doubt, be rigorously enforced both at 
home and in the Colonies. 



London : 



Printed by A. Sfottiswoode, 
New-Street- Square. 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 

A 

ROMANCE OF REAL LIFE. 



CHARLES WHITEHEAD, 

AUTHOR OF " THE SOLITARY." 



No mother's care 
Shielded my infant innocence with pray'r ; 
No father's guardian hand my youth maintain'd, 
Call'd forth my virtues, or from vice restrain'd» 



LONDON : 

RICHARD BENTLEY, NEW BURLINGTON STREET. 

BELL AND Bit ADFUTE, EDINBURGH: 
J. CUMMING, DUBLIN. 

1845. 



id/ *m 

\ )/ 



DEDICATION TO THE FIRST EDITION. 



EDWARD WILLIAM ELTON, ESQ. 

WITH EVERY SENTIMENT OF ESTEEM 
AND FEELING OF REGARD, 

IS INSCRIBED 

BY HIS SINCERE FRIEND, 

THE AUTHOR. 



A 3 



PREFACE. 



A new edition of this Eomance affords me an oppor- 
tunity, of which I am glad to avail myself, of vin- 
dicating the character of Savage from an imputation 
which was revived against him when the first portion 
of the following pages appeared. 

It was alleged that Richard Savage was an impostor, 
and that Boswell, in his " Life of Johnson," had proved 
to demonstration that he was so. I did not care to 
notice the allegation at the time ; but, since, I have 
had reason to believe that, in proportion as it acquired 
credit, the interest of my tale would suffer detraction. 
I am induced, therefore, to show that they who re- 
newed this charge against Savage brought it without 
knowing much about the matter. 

In the first place, Boswell not only did not prove 
Savage to be an impostor, but he did not attempt to 
do so. He was, indeed, the first to question the truth 
of Savage's story, but having no proof, he was fain to 
balance the evidence pro and con, as well as he could ; 
observing, in conclusion, " I have thus endeavoured to 
sum up the evidence upon the case as fairly as I can ; 
and the result seems to be, that the world must vibrate 
in a state of uncertainty as to what was the truth." 
a 4 



viii 



PREFACE. 



But Boswell would hardly have come to this con- 
clusion had he known that the strongest allegation he 
had to urge against the credibility of Savage could 
be destroyed. Boswell's allegation is stated in these 
words : " In order to induce a belief that the Earl 
Rivers, on account of a criminal connexion with whom 
Lady Macclesfield is said to have been divorced from 
her husband by Act of Parliament, had a peculiar 
anxiety about the child which she bore to him, it is 
alleged that his lordship gave him his own name, and 
had it duly recorded in the register of St. Andrew's, 
Holborn. / have carefully inspected that register and 
I cannot find it? 

It is nothing to the discredit of Boswell's vigilance, 
that he could not do so. Ignorant of the following 
circumstances, it was labour in vain to turn over the 
parish register. 

From "The Earl of Macclesfield's Case," then, 
which, in 1697-8, was presented to the Lords, in order 
to procure an Act of Divorce, it appears that Anne, 
Countess of Macclesfield, under the name of Madam 
Smith, was delivered of a male child in Fox Court, 
near Brook Street, Holborn, by Mrs. Wright, a mid- 
wife, on Saturday, 16th January, 1696-7, at six in the 
morning, who was baptised on the Monday following, 
and registered by the name of Richard, the son of 
John Smith — that the child was christened on 
Monday, 18th January, in Fox Court, and from the 
privacy was supposed to be illegitimate. It also 
appears, that during her confinement the lady wore a 
mask. Conformable to this statement is the entry in 
the register of St. Andrew's, Holborn, which is as 
follows, and which unquestionably records the baptism 



PREFACE. 



ix 



of Richard Savage, to whom Lord Rivers gave his 
own Christian name, prefixed to the assumed surname 
of his mother. "January, 1696-7, Richard, son of 
John Smith and Mary, in Fox Court, in Gray's-Inn- 
Lane, baptised the 18th." 

Thus we perceive that this part of the traduced 
poet's story was true, and that the "falsum in uno, 
falsum in omnibus" quoted by Boswell, to overthrow 
the credit of Savage, might be retorted upon himself. 

But the reader shall have another taste of Mr. 
Boswell. 

A strong presumption against the truth of Savage's 
story is, he observes, his assertion that he could 
never obtain a legacy left him by his godmother Mrs. 
Lloyd. " For, if there was such a legacy left, his not 
being able to obtain payment of it must be imputed to 
his consciousness that he was not the real person. If 
he had a title to the legacy, he could not have found 
any difficulty in recovering it ; for had the executors 
resisted his claim, the whole costs, as well as the 
legacy, must have been paid by them, if he had been 
the child to whom it had been given." 

We had hardly quoted this extraordinary piece of 
legal reasoning, but for the still more extraordinary 
comment upon it by Mr. Croker, in his edition of 
" Boswell's Johnson." Mr. Croker says, " This rea- 
soning is decisive. If Savage was what he represented 
himself to be, nothing could have prevented his re- 
covery of the legacy." 

I confess, this reasoning is anything but decisive to 
me. Proof of the identity of Savage was required 
before he could obtain the bequest — legal proof that 
he was that very Richard, son of John and Mary 



X 



PREFACE. 



Smith, born in Fox Court, and registered at St. 
Andrew's, Holborn. However true the story of 
Savage may have been, and, as I believe, was, is it 
credible that he could be possessed of such legal proof? 
The whole matter of the birth was transacted with the 
utmost caution and secrecy. The obscure lodging, 
the assumed name, the assumed mask — these do not 
afford much reason to expect that Lady Macclesfield 
would leave at the time, or supply afterwards, such 
documentary or other evidence as would enable the 
child legally to prove his parentage. 

Leaving Boswell, let us now turn to Mr. Gait, 
whose shallow speculations upon Richard Savage have 
imposed upon a few inconsiderate persons. In the 
year 1831 Mr. Gait published a work which he 
called " Lives of the Players." Into this compilation 
he inserted a life of Savage, the poet having ap- 
peared upon the stage three times during his exist- 
ence, in a play of his own writing. The Life of 
Savage, by Gait, appears to have been written with the 
view of superseding Johnson's admirable biography. 
Towards this end the author did not lay himself out 
to discover any fresh facts or materials ; nay, he ap- 
pears to have been unaware that Boswell had written 
a word about " this vagabond," as, by way of showing 
his impartiality, he calls Savage at the outset. No ; 
by the unassisted force of his reasoning powers he un- 
dertook to show that Johnson was a poor credulous 
creature, and that Johnson's "Life of Savage" contained 
within itself its own refutation. One or two speci- 
mens from this delectable piece of arrogance may be 
desirable, as showing to what an extent conceit may 
be carried, and to what a lowness of reasoning capacity 



PREFACE* 



xi 



a writer may descend, without being detected by the 
whole of his readers. 

About the time that Savage invented his story, says 
Mr. Gait, " the famous trial of the Annesley family 
began, and it is curious in how many points the ab- 
duction of the heir of that family resembles the pre- 
tended machinations of which Savage gives an account 
of his being himself, both in what was done and in- 
tended, the object." 

The coincidence is strange, while it would be easy 
to show that there must be a general resemblance in 
all such cases. But we put it to every candid person, 
whether, if Savage had been an impostor, he would 
not have invented a story as unlike as possible to this 
" famous case." His story was believed in spite, not 
in consequence, of its resemblance to the Annesley 
case. We scarcely require further proof of the truth 
of Savage's statement, than that, being so similar to 
the other, it stood its ground. Mr. Gait asserts that 
Lady Macclesfield, now become Mrs. Brett, did deny 
that Savage was her son, and goes on to observe thus t 
— " In fact, being persuaded that he was an impostor, 
all the extraordinary antipathy with which she re- 
garded him is explained." 

Very good ! We beg the reader to mark well what 
follows. Wilks the player, touched by the misfortune 
of Savage, and believing his story, waited upon Mrs, 
Brett, and obtained from her 60/. for the use of her 
son, with a promise of 150/. more. Upon this, Mr. 
Gait remarks : " This circumstance has been assumed 
as a proof of the truth of his story ; but I think it 
affords none ; because, from the gallant address and 
eloquence of Wilks, 60/. might be obtained from a 



Xll 



PREFACE. 



gay and wealthy lady of damaged quality, to relieve a 
distressed young man, without being any proof of so 
close a connexion as Savage had represented existed 
between them." 

This is a tolerable stretch for a man who sneers at 
the credulity of Johnson. It is no very likely circum- 
stance that an actor, however gallant and eloquent, 
would succeed in talking a lady of quality out of 601. 
for a young gentleman in distress ; but it is incredible 
that he could do so, when the money was to be given 
to a young fellow who had been persecuting the lady 
solicited, by a flagrant imposture. Mr. Gait forgot 
that he had said just before that Mrs. Brett's " extra- 
ordinary antipathy was explained." How is it possible 
to reconcile the gift and the antipathy, except by a 
belief of Savage's story ? 

To show how little Mr. Gait knew of the subject 
upon which he undertook to write, I quote the follow- 
ing passage : — " Dr. Johnson says that the Duke of 
Dorset told Savage that it was just to consider him as 
an injured nobleman. It is surprising that the Doctor, 
in repeating this story, was not astonished at its ab- 
surdity ; it being ridiculous to suppose that his Grace 
would make use of any such expression, in speaking of 
one who, by the nature of his birth, was precluded 
from even pretending to rank." 

This comes of writing and reasoning in utter igno- 
rance. The Duke of Dorset might have said, and, I 
doubt not, did say, what has been attributed to him. 
The Earl of Macclesfield, instead of suing the Eccle- 
siastical Court, proceeded at once to Parliament for a 
divorce. He obtained an act, which, having a retro- 
spective operation, illegitimated Savage, who was 



PREFACE. 



xiii 



already born, — an act so unprecedented, that it did 
not pass without a strong protest being entered on the 
Journals of the House of Lords by several peers. 
Hence, the strong expression of the Duke of Dorset. 

But enough of this. Kichard Savage was the son 
of Earl Eivers and the Countess of Macclesfield, who, 
after her divorce, married Colonel Brett. There can- 
not be a reasonable doubt of the truth of this story. 
While a youth, he was an associate of the players at 
Drury Lane Theatre, when Brett was one of the 
patentees, whose sufferance of him was a tacit con- 
cession of his claim. He was patronised by Steele, 
the intimate friend of Brett and his wife. He was on 
terms of acquaintance with Lady Rochford, a daughter 
of Lord Rivers. During the space of two years, he 
lived as a guest in the house of Lord Tyrconnel, the 
nephew of Mrs. Brett. His story was universally be- 
lieved. Four times during his life was it made public, 
and no attempt was ever put forth to contradict its 
truth, or to invalidate one statement contained in it. 
The year after his death, the powerful hand of Johnson 
dispersed the story over the kingdom. Mrs. Brett was 
yet living. Did she offer a syllable of reply to the 
tremendous accusations brought against her? Did 
Lord Tyrconnel advance one word on her behalf? 
Both were silent. Five and thirty years afterwards, 
Johnson incorporated, without the alteration of a word, 
the "Life of Savage" with the "Lives of the Poets." 
Boswell, some years after Johnson's decease, and fifty 
years after the death of Savage, originated a doubt of 
the truth of his story ; but even Boswell confesses, 
" supposing him to be an impostor, it seems strange 
that Lord Tyrconnel, the nephew of Lady Macclesfield 



PREFACE. 



(Mrs. Brett), should patronise him, and admit him as 
a guest in his family." 

For my part, I cannot understand this fond leaning 
towards Mrs. Brett. This notable lady had a suffi- 
ciency of assurance ; was possessed of abilities ; had 
money with which she might, in a moment, have se- 
cured the services of a hack author of adequate talent ; 
and yet it is reserved for a Boswell and for Gait to 
convince the world that Mrs. Brett's son died in his 
infancy, that Savage was the son of the nurse, and 
that he passed himself off for the child of the lady. 
A miserable imposture at the best, this clamorous 
claim of illegitimacy, preferred to one of the most in- 
famous women then living in England. But miserable 
as it might have been, it required, that it might be 
successful, something more than a bold face and a 
strenuous persistance. How came Savage by his edu- 
cation ? How did the son of the poor nurse qualify 
himself for the assumption of the young gentleman ? 
" 'Fore God ! this is a more excellent tale than the 
other." He who could believe this, would have sworn 
allegiance to Lambert Simnel in the very kitchen of 
Henry VII., and have pronounced his spit a sceptre. 
There are some people in the world that love truth as 
a lover his mistress, who dare not look upon her when 
she is present, but sees her in dreams and everything 
about him when she is far away. 

I am strongly persuaded that Savage devoutly be- 
lieved he was the son of Lord Rivers and the Countess 
of Macclesfield. His strong and violent resentments : 
his insolence, which too often looked like ingrati- 
tude ; all his faults, his follies, and his vices, were the 
consequence of that conviction on his part. It is 



PREFACE. 



XV 



difficult to note the weakness of the man without feel- 
ing a contempt for him ; but his character is intelligible 
only on a supposition of the sincerity of his belief. I 
have drawn his character to the best of my ability, in 
the following pages, and as I believe he himself would 
have portrayed it, for Savage was never careful to 
conceal his faults. To those who have hinted that I 
drew from myself, I have nothing to say. Words 
are wanted upon men who from malice will not, or 
from ignorance cannot, dissociate the author from his 
subject. The calumny or the dulness, as the case 
may be, is old, applied to those who write fiction in 
the first person. 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



CHAPTER I. 

THE REPUTED PARENTS OF RICHARD SAVAGE ARE INTRODUCED TO 
THE READER. 

Whenever I am seduced into reflection, for I confess I 
have no turn for it, nothing strikes me more forcibly than 
the incurable selfishness of mankind, myself of the number. 
In prison, and likely to remain so ; — abandoned by my 
friends — my enemies (how I scorn and despise them !) 
exulting, jubilant over my downfall — laying their cool 
heads together, their cold hearts left at home — and re- 
citing over the finger and thumb all the acts of his life 
which precipitate the proof that Richard Savage must, of 
necessity, have come to this at last ; — what should Richard 
Savage do, but, as he does now, snap his unoccupied fin- 
gers at the world? bid his enemies and his friends — 
there is no difference between them — say their worst of 
him at leisure, and, if they can, do better at speed ? and 
afterwards go to the housetop and pray, if it be only like 
the Pharisee. I was just upon commending them to a 
lower place ; but they may wait till they are fetched. 

Yes, this have I to do. Since the public will no longer 
have me piecemeal, they shall take me in the lump. If 
they will not purchase my brains for the future, as I have 
been accustomed to offer them, by small portions at a time, 
let them buy the whole carcass. I will write my own 
history, and make some of the rogues blush and turn pale, 
too, and some of the folks stare, who have long ceased to 
look for alternations of red and white in the leathern 

B 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



visages of the said rogues. And surely, in the life that I 
have led, or rather, in the life that has misled me, there 
must be much — more than enough — to be wise, grave, 
gay, lively, severe, and sad and solemn upon. What I 
believe of myself, within ; what I outwardly know of my- 
self ; that will I unfold — neither more nor less. If I 
shall not spare myself, no one will expect that I shall be 
merciful to others ; and, if I do not find for their actions 
such excuses and palliations as I make for my own, it will 
be because I know my own nature better than theirs ; and 
because I am not going to do for them what they can do, 
and probably will do, nay, very likely have done for them- 
selves. And now : — 

In the year I698, and in the purlieus of Chancery Lane, 
lived an obscure couple who had, at one time, seen better 
clays than fortune appeared disposed to allot to them for 
the time to come. In fact, Mr. Ambrose Freeman had 
formerly officiated as butler in the family of a noble lord, 
in which capacity he acted for several years. Unfortu- 
nately, however, a passion for drinking which, it seems, he 
inherited from his mother, and which he was wont to 
indulge without reference to time, and without regard to 
place, wrought a conviction in the mind of his lordship 
that the services of Ambrose might be dispensed with, 
seeing that the wine under his care was far too unim- 
peachable to require so unceasing and rigorous a test as 
that to which he was accustomed to submit it. When, 
therefore, he had occasion to wait upon his master for his 
arrears of wages, with an intimation that if my lord 
would generously overlook his last inadvertence, he him- 
self should be most happy to discard from his memory the 
kicking that had ensued upon it, his proposition met with 
a decided negative ; and Ambrose was fain, instigated by 
a little love and a great deal of vengeance, to prevail upon 
the cook to ratify the compact that had so long subsisted 
between them, and to become Mistress Freeman. It was 
Hobson's choice with the lady — Freeman or no man. 
She gave him her thumb upon it, and got his assurance 
that he would be more circumspect, as to his libations, for 
the future. 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



3 



With the conjoint amount of their respective savings, 
this worthy pair, soon after their marriage, entered upon a 
small ale-house and geneva-shop in the neighbourhood of 
Clare-Market, from which — so rumours falsely or with 
truth gave out — several successive landlords had retired 
with a decent maintenance for the winter of their days. 
But Ambrose, having followed the trade three years, dur- 
ing which space he had openly furnished repeated evidence 
of the potency of his liquors, discovered that the line of 
lucky vintners was no longer to remain unbroken ; and 
the house, shortly afterwards, being presented to the jus- 
tices by the Westminster grand jury as an intolerable 
nuisance, he was compelled to make the best of a bad bar- 
gain, and to turn himself to another course of life. 

It were tedious — were I able to do so, and I am not — 
to enumerate the various shifts, most of them discreditable 
and none highly praiseworthy, to which Freeman was under 
the necessity of resorting before he settled into a bailiff, a 
profession which he was destined to practise during the 
remaining term of his natural life. 

In the winter of the year with which I set out, another 
inmate was added to the two ground-floor rooms tenanted 
by Freeman and his wife. The new comer was an infant 
under a twelvemonth old, and for a considerable period after 
his first appearance caused no common amount of curious 
speculation to bestir itself amongst the neighbours. In 
the first place, the child was clad in garments of far finer 
material and workmanship than were ever worn by children 
born in the class of life to which the Freemans belonged ; 
in the second place, no one could tell — for nobody had 
seen — by whom the child was brought, and none knew 
whence it came ; and, lastly, Mrs. Freeman appeared reso- 
lutely determined that nobody should know. Ambrose, 
indeed, when he was not tearfully bewailing his own 
manifold sins and backslidings, which was almost his con- 
stant custom in his cups, was excessively cunning and 
cautious, although not very consistent in his relation of 
matters of fact. Thus, at one time, the child was his 
nephew, the son of a deceased brother ; at another, he 
was a poor orphan whose father had been an officer killed 
b 2 



4 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



in the French wars under the Duke of Marlborough, and 
whose mother was in the mad-house ; and sometimes he 
created a diversion by remarking that a man was not 
bound to criminate himself, and cried " Hush ! " signifi- 
cantly when his wife entered the room. 

Thus was I — • for I was that child - — constituted son 
to any imaginary beings that might, from time to time, 
arise upon poor drunken Freeman's brain ; now, the son 
of a soldier, then of a civilian. I have been a slip from 
the mercantile stock one week, and, the next, have been 
laid at the door of the clergy ; and I devoutly believe, 
there is not a trade, or profession, or class, or order in the 
kingdom to which I have not, through Freeman's agency, 
been indebted for a parent. Ha ! ha ! he shot near the 
mark once or twice. 

Nature had planted a heart in the bosom of Ambrose 
Freeman, although, perfectly unaware of its existence, he 
himself never appealed to it. He felt a becoming respect 
for wealth and title and for those who possessed them, and 
indulged a strong and natural contempt for the deadly sin 
of poverty. He could be! as blind as a bat when a pretty 
fellow slipt a couple of pieces into his hand, and as deaf as 
a beetle when a broken-down tradesman whispered some- 
thing into his ear about a large family and the horrors of a 
prison. Still, I have heard, out of his vocation, when the 
man's natural tendencies had fair play, it might be seen 
that he was merely ignorant, and that he would have felt 
for others, if he had been taught to do so. 

Freeman treated me with singular kindness, and con- 
ceived for me as strong an affection as he was capable of 
feeling for any human being. This might happen because 
he had no children of his own, or because I was not his 
own child ; or, which is most likely, because Mrs. Free- 
man was in the habit of subjecting me to very barbarous 
usage. He would take me abroad on Sundays into the 
Mall, and point out to me the great folks with whom, pro- 
bably, the course of his profession had made him acquainted. 
For several successive years he conveyed me to May Fair, 
to see the celebrated Lady Mary dance upon the tight rope, 
and to partake the other amusements of that once delightful 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



5 



resort ; and he sometimes introduced me to the convivial 
companionship of the gentlemen of his own fraternity, 
whose humour it was to plant me upon the table, and to 
recommend to me the solace of an occasional whiff and the 
stimulus of strong beer. 

Nevertheless, I did not discover, I imagine, any corre- 
sponding amount of friendship for Ambrose. The truth is, 
Freeman was not satisfied with being kind to me, but would 
take frequent opportunities when he was drunk, which was 
nearly every night, of impressing upon me how very kind 
he was ; how excessively grateful I ought to be, and what 
strenuous efforts I was bound in after life to make, that my 
benefactor's grey hairs should not stick up on end at my 
ingratitude, but be carefully smoothed down by the hand of 
filial affection. In addition to this — I have often cursed 
(for boys do curse in their way, and their curses are in ef- 
fect very like the maledictions of us full-grown sinners) — I 
have often cursed, I say, the officious and pernicious friend- 
ship of the fellow. He frequently fell upon his wife when 
he discovered that she had been laying hands upon me ; the 
consequence of which was, as I felt to my cost, that I got 
a more malignant drubbing on the next day, when my pro- 
tector was from home, and unable, therefore, to interfere in 
my behalf. 

When I was about nine years of age, an event befell in 
the family, which, to one of the parties, at least, was of no 
common importance. Freeman was apprised that enter- 
tainments of more than ordinary variety were about to take 
place at Hockley-in- the- Hole. Besides the usual enter- 
tainments of cock-fighting, prize-fighting, and bear-baiting, 
a bull was to be turned loose with fire-works all over him, 
and a mad ass was to be baited — temptations which Am- 
brose felt himself under no necessity of endeavouring to 
resist. During a pause in these refined performances, 
Freeman casting his eyes around, descried a person against 
whom he had in his pocket a writ of long-standing ; and 
he, accordingly — for even the delights of the bear-garden 
must give way to business — prepared to serve it upon the 
unconscious victim. In his endeavour to do so, however, 
his object got wind; and some unscrupulous enthusiasts in 



6 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



the cause of liberty, who either had reason to hold the class 
of which Ambrose was a worthy or unworthy member in 
abhorrence, or who had adopted the common prejudice 
against the body in general, laid hands upon the specimen 
before them, and bore him away in triumph to a contigu- 
ous pump, where he underwent a cold bath ; — no novelty, 
indeed, but which transcended all former water- works of 
the same kind, whether in his experience as to himself, or 
in his remembrance as to others. From the effects of this 
ill-usage Ambrose never recovered. A cold settled upon 
his lungs, and fever supervened ; and he was carried off — 
the invariable case ! — just at the time he felt he could be 
least spared, and precisely when he was most unwilling to 
depart. 

I have hinted at Mrs. Freeman's inhumanity towards me. 
It must be said — but whether it extenuates the barbarity 
of the woman's conduct, or may be deemed an aggravation 
of it, is a question hardly worth the decision — that she 
really did not know who my parents were — whether they 
were rich or poor, gentle or simple, living or dead. I had 
been committed to her care by her own brother, one James 
Ludlow, a man who had been for many years in the ser- 
vice of the Lady Mason ; and who had constantly answered, 
if he did not satisfy his sister's inquiries respecting my 
birth, by stating that I wa£ under the protection of his mis- 
tress ; that there were reasons why I should bear, as I had 
borne, the name of Freeman ; and that if his sister was con- 
tented to restrain her curiosity till the proper time arrived, 
she would probably be made as wise in her generation, as 
to the secret in question, as any other of the children of 
men. Not one word of all which did Mrs. Freeman be- 
lieve, she being one of that class of sagacious persons whose 
incredulity increases in proportion to the amount of infor- 
mation furnished, and who are never so certain of the fal- 
sity of a story as when there appears a degree of probability 
on the face of it. 

This brother of hers, Ludlow, had never cultivated an 
intimacy with Freeman ; on the contrary, an exceeding 
distaste of each other's company had manifested itself upon 
aH occasions when chance brought them together. Ludlow, 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



7 



although twenty years younger than his brother-in-law, 
was as precise and formal as the other was irregular and 
diffuse ; and as his predilections seldom led him to the 
ale-house, and, when they did, never carried him beyond 
one tankard, Freeman had long since abjured him, pro- 
testing that he was a solemn and sober noodle upon whom 
it was not worth his while to waste his company. 

Ludlow, accordingly, several years previously to the 
death of Freeman, had merely made a quarterly call upon 
his sister, for the purpose of paying into her hand the sum 
agreed upon for my keep and of defraying the expenses of 
my school and clothing. When, however, the obstacle of 
his visits was removed, he came as often as his leisure per- 
mitted ; and never appeared so happy, or so little miserable 
(for Ludlow was a very grave person), as when he was 
silently drawing from his pocket and dispensing those 
palatable presents, which of all others are the most accept- 
able to children. It was not long before I became sensible 
of the kindness of my disinterested benefactor. I could 
perceive that he had gradually acquired an influence over 
Mrs. Freeman, which he exerted in my behalf with such 
success as, in a few months, materially decreased the amount 
of punishment she had been wont to inflict upon me ; and 
for the purpose of doing away altogether with an odious 
and troublesome practice which had nothing but custom to 
recommend it, I entered into a tacit compact with my 
mother (for so I had been taught to call her), that, in 
consideration of certain monies tq be placed at her disposal, 
as I from time to time received them from Ludlow, she, on 
her part, was utterly to relinquish all further right of assault 
and battery upon my animal structure. Mrs. Freeman was not 
unwilling to fall into this arrangement ; for, by the time I 
had attained my tenth year, I not only would not submit 
passively to her correction, but resisted lustily both with 
hands and feet ; and whenever these combats took place, 
might more properly be said to be over-matched than 
conquered. 

One day, Ludlow made his appearance with a very un- 
common cheerfulness of aspect. His sister remarked it. 
" I don't know/' said he, i( whether you will be pleased 
B 4 



8 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



by what I am about to tell you ; but, I believe, you are 
soon to lose little Richard." 

Mrs. Freeman first held up her hands, and then darted 
a long ringer towards me. 

C( And what, in mercy's name, are you going to do with 
the boy, now ? " 

(C He is to be sent to St. Albans to school." 

cc St. Albans ! " cried Mrs. Freeman, cf where's that ? 
As though he didn't get plenty of learning from Old 
Staines ; " and she pushed me, her erudite charge, out of 
the way. " He's too much for me, with his books and 
his writing, already. I've no notion of teaching boys so 
much." 

cc But somebody else has," said Ludlow, drily. i( And 
Lady Mason wishes to see him to-morrow morning, and 
desires that you will accompany him." 

ee And this is to be the end of all my care and pains," 
complained Mrs. Freeman ; " after all I've done for him. 
I'm sure I've been more like a mother to him than any thing 
else. Ha ! you may grin, you graceless young villain," 
and she held forth her menacing fist — i( I've only been too 
good to you." 

" Well," said Ludlow, handing her a written direction, 
iC don't be later than eleven." 

(e Her ladyship might come to me, I think," muttered 
Mrs. Freeman, placing the paper in a broken tea-cup on 
the mantel-piece ; and then, turning suddenly short round, 
" I'll tell you what, James ; I shall make so bold as to ask 
her ladyship who are the child's parents. I won't let him 
go without knowing ; — no, indeed. 

(C It will do you no good, that," returned Ludlow, 
hastily, " but much harm. If you ask any questions of 
the kind, Martha, Lady Mason, I know, will be greatly 
offended ; and will do nothing for you. She does intend 
to give you something very handsome for your care of 
Richard." 

Mrs. Freeman pulled out the sleeves of her gown, and 
twitching at the bosom of it, took a seat. 

" Why," she said, " James Ludlow, you know I love 
the boy as my own ; and " 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



9 



" And one day,, perhaps, will be told to whom he be- 
longs/' interrupted her brother. 

iC Ah ! one day ! a day I shall never see, I doubt/' said 
Mrs. Freeman, with a forced sigh. " Come hither, Dick." 

I approached. She tenderly took my head between her 
two hands, and leaning back in her chair, gazed at me, her 
head fondly jerked on one side. That done, she advanced 
her shaking visage towards me till her nose touched mine, 
and saluted me in a sort of rapture. " Bless you, my 
Dick, must I part with you ? " and a stare and a gulp fol- 
lowed. 

I had too much cause to doubt the sincerity of Mrs. 
Freeman's affection, to be at all moved by this unwonted 
exhibition. Not so, Ludlow, who, watery-eyed fellow ! 
was deeply affected, and who, wringing his sister's hand, 
assured her that I was going where I would be well taken 
care of, and where I should be made a bright man ; and 
that hereafter she would see reason to be proud of me. 

On the next morning, the woman and I — she arrayed in 
her best available apparel, and I combed out and soaped, 
till my face was as stiff and shiny as a vizard-mask, held 
our important way towards the court-end of the town, and 
in due time found ourselves at the door of Lady Mason. 
We were received by Ludlow, who ushered us in silence 
up a broad flight of stairs, and thence into a magnificent 
apartment, telling us to wait there till he apprised his mis- 
tress of our arrival. Mrs. Freeman was not a little daunted 
by the splendour of the place, and though ready to drop, as 
she said (and so was I), would not permit either herself 
or me to occupy one of those, " Lawk ha mercy ! what 
heavenly chairs !" 

" What heaps of chany, Dick ! " she said, gazing won- 
deringly around. " I wonder where it all comes from ? 
Tables covered with it — two buffets full of it, mantel- 
piece crowded with it! Goggles, Dick!" (a favourite 
word of hers, " goggles,") i( I wonder what they call those 
two green animals, one in each corner, holding up their 
heads, with their mouths open, and their eyes shut, to see 
what God will send 'em, I suppose. A poor chance, I 
doubt, ugly beasts ! Well, it's good of 'em, if they have 



10 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



such ill-favoured creatures in foreign parts, only to send 
their likenesses here. Hush ! here she comes, I think." 

The door opened, and a lady of venerable aspect entered 
the room, partly supported by a stick, and leaning on 
Ludlow's arm. He carefully led her to her seat, and de- 
clining his head, appeared to receive her commands. 

" You may bring him to me now," I heard her say. 

Ludlow took me by the hand. His own trembled as he 
whispered, u Come to Lady Mason, my dear ; she wishes 
to see you," and he placed me by the arm of her chair. 

u Good heavens ! how like — how very like, Mr. Lud- 
low ! do you not perceive ? " she exclaimed, shrinking, as 
it were, from me. 

Ludlow w r ith glistening eyes, and bowing silently, as- 
sented. 

" Oh, my sweet fellow, my poor dear child ! " resumed 
her ladyship, " what a fate is yours ! — and mine," she 
added, somewhat wildly, smoothing my hair back from my 
forehead, and gazing upon me intently. Tears presently 
gushed from her eyes ; she clasped me fervently to her 
bosom ; and her head sinking upon my small shoulder, she 
sobbed aloud. 

This was so different a scene from any to which I had 
been accustomed, that my heart was melted. I lifted up 
my voice, and would have blubbered in right earnest, but 
was checked by the upraised fist of Mrs. Freeman, w T ho 
with hideous but intelligible grimaces commanded me to 
desist. 

Lady Mason, after some time, recovered her calmness, 
and wiped away my tears with her handkerchief. " My 
love is a very good boy, is he not ? I know he is," she 
said with a faint smile. 

My reply was such as may be expected ; — I answered 
that I was. 

" Our Richard is a very good boy ? " inquired her 
ladyship, addressing Mrs. Freeman, who, thus appealed 
to, came forward with many bobs and curtseys. 

" Why, your good ladyship," replied Mrs. Freeman, 
mincingly, " I can't but say he is in general a very good 
young gentleman, but ■ 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



11 



" But what ? " said her ladyship. 

" Why, ma'am, Master Richard is such a spirit — so 
passionate-like, and won't bear control. " 

Lady Mason directed a glance at Ludlow, and shook her 
head, with a slight shrug. " But he is going to school,'' 
she said, turning to me, " where he will learn how wicked 
it is to give way to his passions. He will be taught better 
there ; for he is to be a gentleman, one of these days." 

u Do you hear that, Master Richard ? " cried Mrs. Free- 
man. " I'm sure you ought to go down on your knees for 
such a goodness. Make your best bow to her ladyship." 

I did so, and was withdrawn by Ludlow to the other end 
of the room. A long conversation ensued between Lady 
Mason and Mrs. Freeman, during which my ears detected 
the chinking of gold. When it broke up, the face of 4<r my 
mother" shone luminously; and she came towards me and 
embraced me with an affectionate fervour, which I not only 
did not return, but tried my utmost to avoid. 

When Ludlow led me towards his lady for the purpose 
of taking leave, she almost stifled me with kisses, made me 
promise that I would be the best and cleverest boy in the 
world, repeated her assurance that I was one day to be a 
gentleman, and placed in my hand a guinea, with an in- 
junction against spending too much of it at once. W e were 
then taken down to Ludlow's private room, where refresh- 
ment was provided for us ; and where Mrs. Freeman once 
more pressed her brother very hard for an explanation 
touching the mystery of my birth, but without success. 

ec Goggles, lad ! " said she, squeezing my ear, " you're 
somebody, at all events — I see that plain enough ; and 
may at last come to be the owner of this fine house, and all 
it contains ; and there's plenty of one thing and another, I 
doubt." 

I had my own thoughts upon the subject ; and looked, I 
believe, at Ludlow, as though I had. He was slightly dis- 
concerted. 

" You heard what Lady Mason told Richard," he said, 
addressing his sister. " I can say no more." 
" You can, if you will," retorted Mrs. Freeman. 
" I won't then." 



12 



"RICHARD SAVAGE. 



" Ah ! " cried Mrs. Freeman, risings " obstinate as a pig." 

" You will remember," said Ludlow, u that you are not 
to inform your neighbours where Richard is gone. That 
you faithfully promised her ladyship, you know ; and on 
that depends " 

" I can keep a secret, I hope/' exclaimed Mrs. Freeman, 
hastily. "When any thing is to be kept secret, I'm above 
letting it be known." 

"Obstinate as a pig, then, I suppose," returned Ludlow. 

" You have me there," said his sister, with a sportive 
slap on the shoulder. " Well, her ladyship is very much 
of the lady, I must say that of her, and has done what's 
handsome by me. Come along, Dick, you're very like 
somebody, it seems ; a pity any one should be like you ; 
and there's a secret for you." 

Lady Mason's guinea was too fresh in my pocket to 
suffer me to take offence at any ill-conditioned jests at my 
expense. I contented myself, therefore, by making a wide- 
mouthed grin, as she turned her back, and by a farcical 
imitation of her gait and gesture, as she proceeded through 
the hall. 

Ludlow accompanied us home in a coach, and in the 
afternoon took me to several shops, where such articles of 
clothing were ordered as were necessary to my genteel ap- 
pearance at school ; and it was arranged that on the follow- 
ing Wednesday he was to call for me, for the purpose of 
escorting me to St. Albans. 



CHAPTER II. 

RICHARD SAVAGE AT SCHOOL. 

Ludlow made his appearance punctually on the morning 
appointed for my departure, and tenderly released me from 
the affectionate gripe of Mrs. Freeman, who, now that I 
was about to leave her for ever, discovered agreeable qualities 
and social virtues in me, of which neither herself nor her 
charge had heretofore been conscious. We left her in 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



IS 



tears, genuine or spurious, I know not ; and making the 
best of our way to the inn, took our seats in the coach, 
and were in due time conveyed to the place of our destina- 
tion. 

Ludlow ordered dinner at the Nag's Head, at which we 
had been set down, and a pint of burnt sherry for imme- 
diate consumption, and led the way to the coffee-room. 
And here, having first explained that the two fat elderly 
maiden ladies in the coach — sisters he supposed — had 
so " gallowed " his brains with their incessant tattle, that 
he hardly knew what he ought to say, or how he ought to 
say it, the worthy creature earnestly and with tears in his 
eyes bestowed upon me an unaccustomed quantity of very 
good advice, which I gratefully received, and which, I am 
sorry to confess, went hand in hand with my very good 
intentions to the place appointed, time out of mind, for the 
reception of those moral superfluities. 

Dinner being ended, and the afternoon drawing on apace, 
Ludlow went forth and secured the services of a round- 
faced rustic, upon whose impregnable skull my trunk was 
placed, and under whose guidance we found ourselves, in 
a short time, at the door of Mr. Burridge. 

The pedagogue was at home and at leisure, for it was 
half-holyday — and sent word out that we were to be ad- 
mitted to his presence. When we entered the apartment, 
we beheld a gigantic figure reclined almost horizontally in 
a very large chair. He was smoking a pipe, and had, it 
would seem, recently divested himself of an enormous 
rusty periwig, which lay clutched in his huge fist upon the 
table. He regarded us in silence for some moments, 
through the smoky veil by which he was surrounded, and. 
then rising leisurely, he laid aside his pipe and came to- 
wards us. 

" This letter, sir/' said Ludlow, " will explain for what 
purpose I wait upon you," handing it to him. 

" A letter — eh ! " said Burridge, whipping a pair of 
spectacles out of his waistcoat pocket, and jerking them on 
the bridge of his nose. 

" Let's see — Francis Burridge, Esquire — Esquire ! 
and he gave a loud whistle. <c Ah ! well — very good — 



14 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



just so ! " he added , at intervals, as he hastily perused the 
letter. 

" This tells me," said he, holding the letter from him, 
" that I am to take this little fellow — what's his name? 
Richard Freeman, under my care — under my tuition/ ' 

" Yes, sir," said Ludlow. 

" And that he is to remain with me during the holy- 
days ? " 

Ludlow bowed. 

" That implies that the lad's parents are dead ; is it so ? " 

" I believe they are," replied Ludlow, hesitating. 

" Ah ! not certain ? " said Burridge : " perhaps there's 
more life than death in the matter, eh ? " 

" I really do not know," replied Ludlow, disconcerted. 

" Ah ! well ! " returned Burridge — " who is Henrietta 
Mason ? " 

" My lady/' replied Ludlow, " the Lady Mason." 

"The Lady Mason! — oh! I beg her pardon," cried 
Burridge with a low bow, " that's it ; I always bow to a 
title." He rang the bell. " Bring some wine," as the 
servant entered. 

Ludlow began to plead headache, but was stopped by 
the familiar hand of Burridge upon his mouth. 

"Now, sir," said he, when the wine was put on the 
table, " I crave pardon — your name ? " 

" Ludlow, sir." 

" Well, Mr. Ludlow," and he slapped his brawny leg, 
" let us drink to the speedy progress of our young student ; 
and we'll give him a glass too, to damp him down, as 
printers do their paper, before he goes into the press. 
Let us hope he'll contain something good when he comes 
out of it." 

" I hope so, indeed," said Ludlow, earnestly, setting 
down his glass. " Will you forgive me ? " he resumed 
after a pause; "but I trust — I feel no doubt — indeed, I 
know that he will be treated kindly. I am, sir," and 
poor Ludlow smiled with a kind of mournful humility, 
" 1 am greatly attached to him." 

Mr. Burridge raised his black brows, and gazed into the 
meek countenance of the other. "Ah! well — you like 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 15 

him/' he remarked, at length. " Why, yes, we shall 
treat him kindly enough, I dare say. We keep a school, 
Ludlow, not a slaughter-house ; — we are not cannibals, 
hut Christians ; men, not monsters. But, sir," and here 
le shook his finger in the air, " Mr. Shakspeare, an author 
strangely neglected in these our times, albeit the greatest 
genius that ever appeared in England, except Milton, and 
in all, save sublimity, he surpasses even that stupendous 
genius — Mr. Shakspeare has proposed this question — 
' Treat a man according to his deserts, and who shall 
escape whipping ? ' Now, sir, if that be true, and I believe 
it is," winking his eye knowingly, and pointing with his 
thumb over to me, u d'ye think the boys ought to go scot 
free, eh ? " 

" No, indeed," said Ludlow. " Do you hear what 
Mr. Burridge says, Richard ? You must take care." 

" So he will," cried Burridge, putting on his periwig. 
" The truth is, the temples of Greece and Rome are 
' bosom'd high in tufted trees ; ' — birch trees, Mr. Lud- 
low ; and I never knew a boy yet who could find his way 
to those temples without going through those trees. But 
come, Dick, take leave of your friend; he is anxious 
to go." 

So saying, Mr. Burridge hummed the end of an old 
song, which I afterwards discovered was the only one ever 
committed to memory by that gentleman, and taking a 
turn or two, left the room. 

" Not anxious to go, dear Richard," said Ludlow, slip- 
ping half-a-guinea into my hand, and kissing my forehead ; 
" but if I stayed longer, I should not reach London to- 
night. God bless you ! Remember me kindly, will you? 
It shall not be long before I see you again." 

My heart was heavy when my only friend left me ; and 
when 1 heard the street door fairly close upon him, I be- 
gan to weep. Burridge surprised me in this dismal plight. 

" What ! whimpering ? " said he. " Cease wailing and 
gnashing, my young Heraclitus ; we shall soon be very 
good friends, I dare say. Here, take heart, and another 
glass of wine, and leave crying to girls who have knocked 
their dolls' heads off, and can't put them on again. There ! 



16 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



a laugh becomes you much better. Now, what do ycu 
say, my man ? " and, my head between his hands, he lifted 
me on to a chair. iC Who has been giving you the rudi- 
ments — where have you been to school ? " 
" With Old Staines/' said I. 

u Old Staines ! ah ! well — let's see what hue your mind 
has acquired from Old Staines/' 

Here he put a variety of questions to me, touching my 
advancement in English grammar, my answers to which 
were clearly far from satisfactory ; for he knitted his brows 
and shook his head in token of disapproval, and with a 
protruded lip stood for a while in meditation. 

" Ah ! well — well ? No — ill," he said, at length, 
" very ill — very ill, indeed. What was the name?" he 
continued, suddenly turning to me, u of the Boeotian, eh ? 
the blundering bumpkin — the brute who taught you all 
he knew, and couldn't help it, eh ? " 

" Old Staines," I repeated. 

i( Old Staines ! " echoed Burridge, throwing up his arms. 
cc Dicky Freeman, such old stains — old blots, rather — 
ought to be expunged from creation. But, come with me; 
we'll begin to-morrow to rub out those old stains." 

So saying, he swung me with one arm from the chair in 
a volant circle, and taking my hand in his, led me into 
the school room. 

" Metcalfe," said he, addressing a dingy old fellow, be- 
grimed with snufF from nose to knees, who was seated at 
a desk mending pens. " Call the boys out of the play- 
ground. Bid them come hither — all of them — instantly." 

Metcalfe passed his hands along his shiny galligas- 
kins, and then flapped his paunch vigorously, causing a 
cloud of dust to fly out of his waistcoat, and rising with 
a grunt, made leisurely for a door at the other end of the 
room. 

" Stand you here, Freeman," said Burridge, planting me 
at the foot of an elevated desk, which he ascended. 

Presently, in straggled a number of boys of various 
sizes, ages, and appearance, who, catching the master's eye, 
as he stood towering before them, ranged themselves in 
something like order and awaited his speech, which, pre- 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



17 



faced by a terrific monitory smiting on the desk with a 
large wooden ruler, ran in pretty nearly these words : — 

C( Young gentlemen ; ah ! well ! young gentlemen, for 
so you are, or rather, for so I mean to make you — behold 
this young fellow-student whom I here present to you. He 
is strange, and shy, and, no doubt, not a little disconcerted 
at present ; be it yours to console, to enliven, to encourage 
him. Cheer him, my brave fellows, cheer him, my good 
lads. Be at once the rule and the example of good man- 
ners. He's but a little lad, you see — make much of him 
(Pshaw ! little — make much — very poor that !) In short, 
since I constantly inculcate kindness, humanity and polite- 
ness, do show, though it be for the first time, that I have 
not laboured in vain." 

This address being brought to a conclusion, Mr. Bur- 
ridge descended from his desk. " Go amongst them, Dick," 
said he, with a singularly sweet and benevolent smile, pat- 
ting me on the head, — " and make as many friends as you 
can. Metcalfe, I want you. Follow me to my study," 
and he stalked away ; the dingy usher having gone through 
the same manual operations as before, following at a hum- 
ble distance. 

Burridge's speech, delivered, as it had been, in the most 
persuasive manner a remarkably sonorous voice could adopt, 
encouraged me greatly. T advanced, therefore, into the 
middle of the room, and proceeded to scan the countenances 
of my school-fellows with a view of striking up a friendship 
with one or more of them. I had not stood long thus, how- 
ever, when a pull of my hair, from behind, caused me to 
start round with indignant surprise. My eyes lighted upon 
a row of faces of singular gravity, with a hand over each 
mouth as of philosophical speculation. As I turned scowl- 
ing from these grave Muftis, hopeless of detecting the de- 
linquent, a second visitation of the same nature awakened 
my fury, and turning short upon my heel, with a rapid 
swing of my arm, I prostrated a small wretch, upon whose 
upturned visage still lingered a slight vestige of mischievous 
glee which was instantaneously succeeded by a look of woe. 
The lamentations of this victim opened the throats of the 
c 



18 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



smaller fry. " He won't fight." — " He daren't fight." 
— " What's his name ? " resounded on all sides. 

u I say, you sir/' cried a hoy older and taller than my- 
self, strutting briskly up to me, i( What's your name ? " 

u Go it, Sinclair — that's it, Sinclair," shouted the in- 
genuous youths. 

(Boys are the generous, noble, high-minded beings their 
grandmothers inspire philosophers to call them.) 

ie What's your name, I tell you ? " repeated Sinclair. 

(i Richard Freeman," said I, sturdily. 

" Well, have you a mind to fight ? " 

e: Any one of my own size," I answered ; " and I should 
like to catch the coward that pulled my hair just now." 

Although I said this readily and resolutely enough, a 
sense of my unfriended condition lay heavy at my heart, 
and mingled grief and rage arose into my throat. I would 
have averted my head to conceal the tears that sprang to 
my eyes ; but at this moment a tap on the shoulder engaged 
my attention. I looked up, and saw a boy about Sinclair's 
age. He kindly took me by the hand. 

ce I'm Gregory — Tom Gregory," said he ; " never 
mind them — I'll stand by you ! " 

In the meanwhile, Sinclair had been taking counsel with 
his companions. 

" I'll see what he's made of," he observed as he broke 
from them, sagaciously nodding his head. Thereupon the 
young gentleman, in a kind of dance, receded a few paces, 
and, with his tongue between his teeth, and one eye cocked 
as though to enable him to take a surer aim, he advanced 
towards me in the same lively manner, and struck me across 
the face with his open hand. 

Two boys, with very good intentions, instantly seized 
me by the arms. 

" You are no match for him ; — don't fight him," said they. 

But, had he been the devil's own imp, I had flown upon 
him for that. Bursting from their hold, I rushed headlong 
upon my assailant, and dealt him such a blow upon the 
under jaw as, had he not withdrawn his insolent tongue, 
might, perhaps, have abridged it. As it was, he recoiled, 
with an expression of face almost pitiable. 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



19 



ei Enough/' said Tom Gregory interposing ; " well 
done, Freeman. Sinclair, you are a coward to strike a boy 
younger than yourself/' 

te I'll fight him/' said I, going up to him. I remem- 
bered to have taken down such an ignoble swaggerer once 
before, who had interfered with my amusements in Lin- 
coln's Inn Fields. " Have you a mind to fight ? " repeat- 
ing his words. 

" Yes, I have/' he replied. 

No more. Two detachments of lads seized upon us se- 
verally, and hurried us into the play- ground, behind a large 
elm-tree, and set face to face, we began to bruise each other 
without ceremony. 

Sinclair proved himself to be no coward, or perhaps, 
shame did the work of courage ; but he was utterly igno- 
rant of the noble science to which the renowned Mr. 
Broughton, before I left London, lent such additional lus- 
tre. He lacked also my activity and quickness of manual 
retort ; so that, after a prolonged combat, in which many 
blows were exchanged, three black eyes were given, and 
much blood was shed, he gave in, and reluctantly pro- 
claimed me the conqueror. 

When the battle was ended, we removed from under 
the elm-tree to a more open space, and our adherents be- 
stirred themselves in fetching water from an adjoining 
pump to clear our disfigured faces, and ascertain the real 
amount of our respective injuries. While we were thus 
engaged, forming a mute but busy circle, a darkness sud- 
denly, and for a moment, " overcame us like a summer 
cloud," and something, expanding as it descended, fell 
in the midst of us. It was the master's rusty periwig ! 
A number of eyes were instantly cast upward towards 
a well-known window at the back of the house, at which 
the prodigious visage of Burridge was disclosed with a 
cruel calmness upon it, brimful of a coming tempest. The 
major portion of boys forthwith dispersed themselves in all 
directions, assuming, as they went their ways, various airs 
of indifference, as though the matter in hand had only 
just before engaged their passing attention. The chief 
accessaries, however, stood fixed — spell-bound. 

c 2 



20 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



(£ You/ 9 cried Burridge, addressing Gregory who had 
constituted himself my second, ec you take up that/' point- 
ing to the portentous mass of hair, " and with Dixon, 
Sinclair, and Freeman, come instantly to my room." This 
said, the face was withdrawn. 

ec Don't be afraid, Freeman," said Gregory who had a 
spice of the wag in his composition, lifting the wig from 
the ground, and placing it on his own head ; " we're in the 
right, at all events. Come along ; " and away we went, 
Sinclair and Dixon crawling ruefully behind. 

Burridge looked plaguy gloomy as we came into his 
presence — his elbow on the arm of his chair, his cheek 
upon his hand, and his legs apart, stretched out to their 
full length. 

u Ah ! well ! these are doings — not pretty, but ugly 
doings," said he. (c Tell me, you, Gregory, how this 
face-mauling fell out." 

Hereat, Gregory furnished a plain and succinct account 
of the whole transaction. 

Ci And why did you permit this great lad to fight this 
little one ? " demanded Burridge, when the other had con- 
cluded. 

ec Because, I hoped he would thrash him, and thought 
he could," answered Gregory, " and because if he hadn't, 
I would have done it for him." 

The master pressed his lips together with his fingers. 
(C Leave the room, sir," he exclaimed in a stern voice ; 
{i I will speak to you another time." 

" And you," he continued, turning to Dixon, (e you go 
after him ; but slowly, and as much like a hound as you 
can. You'll improve at it, in time. I shall not speak to 
you again. Speak to yourself : ask yourself which of the 
two is the greater poltroon, you or Sinclair ; " and taking 
him by the ear, he guided him to the door. 

<c As for you, Sinclair, what pains have you taken 
for a sound thrashing ! If Freeman hadn't given you a 
cuffing; Gregory would ; or, if Gregory hadn't I should : 
you went upon three chances, and the first proved a cer- 
tainty. Sneak hence ; and when you can bear to look at 
your own face, perhaps you may be able to look into 



RICHARD SAVAGE* 



21 



Freeman's ; and then I hope you will beg his pardon. 
Go away — go away/' 

Sinclair departed, muttering a sentence, of which " I 
won't, I know/' was all that reached my ear. 

" But, what is this ? " cried Burridge with an awfully 
severe look — ee you are a fighter, are you, Mister Richard 
Freeman ? — a Dares, a mauler ; an Entellus, a bruiser, 
eh ? " 

" I wouldn't have fought, sir," I replied, " only he 
struck me first." 

<c Struck you first ! " exclaimed Burridge, in a terrible 
tone. 

" Yes, sir," said I, nothing daunted ; (C and wasn't 
I right ? Wouldn't you have done the same, sir, if it had 
been you ? " 

Burridge walked to the window. £i Yes, by G — , yes, 
I believe I should," he said between his teeth. ee I rather 
think I should." He turned quickly round. ee Bless 
your black eye and your swollen nose," he cried, " you 
are a fellow of fire, Dick. That spirit of yours will either 
make or mar you. Go along to the school-room. You 
have laid the foundation of a lasting peace there, Dick." 

And so I found I had. Thenceforth it was tolerably 
smooth water with me, ruffled at intervals by Sinclair, 
who could wrangle, and was an adept in the art of half 
applicable bluster, and who maintained a servile crew of 
backers ; but he never hazarded an open quarrel. Per- 
fectly conscious of the advantage I had gained, I was at no 
pains to conceal my contempt and defiance of him ; and 
upon all occasions bore myself as one who desired nothing 
better than an opportunity of repeating the chastisement I 
had inflicted upon him. In the meanwhile, I made rapid 
progress in my studies, and secured the esteem and affec- 
tion of Burridge, who descanted upon my qualifications to 
Ludlow, when he came to see me, which was usually once 
a quarter, with an earnestness and a warmth that made 
the tears trickle down the poor fellow's face. 

Mrs. Freeman had died about two years after my esta- 
blishment at St. Alban's. This calamity (as I heard it 
was) to her, was but small grief to me. I had never 
c 3 



22 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



loved, or even liked the woman. She had from my in- 
fancy impressed upon my mind the fact that she was no 
mother of mine ; and her conduct towards me had rendered 
that impression indelible. She had never treated me like 
a mother. What have I written ? She had never treated 
me like a mother ! Let it stand ; although it is not al- 
together true. I proceed : — 

As I grew older, it was not unusual with me, in my 
leisure hours, to ponder over my future probable desti- 
nation ; but the one difficulty presented itself at the outset, 
and brought to nothing every conclusion at which I sought 
to arrive. " Who am I ? " was the constant question I 
proposed to myself, and the frequent inquiry 1 made of 
Ludlow, who commonly shook my hand and his own head 
in silence ; or put me off with some vague answer which 
increased, while it baffled, my curiosity. 

I had been four years under the tutelage of Burridge, 
when, one day, Ludlow made his appearance before him, 
with a mournful seriousness of aspect. I was called into 
the room. 

" Come hither, Dick," said Burridge, beckoning me 
towards them — "here's your friend — friend? Ah well! 
no matter — here's Ludlow come to take you away from 
me." 

e< At Lady Mason's command," interposed Ludlow, 
" but much against my will — had I a right to express it." 

cc Humph ! " grunted Burridge. iC Why, sir, I haven't 
half done with him yet. I want to introduce him to a 
few Greek gentlemen of my acquaintance, very reserved 
people, who require much respect and attention before one 
can become acquainted with them. I don't think I'll let 
him go. Look you, Ludlow ; I designed him for Cam- 
bridge, by way of compensation for a certain blockhead 
they were troubled with some five and twenty years since. 
I'll tell you what ; I'll lend him — mark, I'll lend him to 
Lady Mason for one month ; if at the expiration of that 
period he be not forthcoming, look to it ; or rather, look 
for me : to London up come I, trundling ; whip him 
under my arm, and away with him, to be heard of once 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



23 



again " — here Burridge nodded his head significantly — 
iC when his father appears to claim him/' 

Ludlow was greatly distressed. " I am sure. Lady 
Mason/' stammering, " the friendly interest you take in 
Richard's welfare — the uncommon — a — a — the — but I 
must obey my orders." This last he brought out hastily, 
but with an effort. 

" Ah well/' returned Burridge, iC must, ugly word ; I 
never liked it. 6 Can't ' and 6 must ' are the two devils 
that claw out the eyes of e will/ Sir/' he continued in 
his natural tone, " you are, I doubt not, a very honest, 
good little man ; but you are a little man. Now, what 
business has a little man like you to be lugging about a 
great secret which, I see, is a vast deal too heavy for you ? " 

" A great secret, sir ! " faltered Ludlow. 

" Yes, sir, a great secret that has outgrown its clothes, 
and soon won't have a rag to cover it. I was one of the 
close gentlemen myself, once ; and I brought myself to a 
fine pass with my closeness. Thus it was : I married a 
young and pretty woman without a farthing ; and I kept 
the marriage secret ; but I was found out, nevertheless. 
Then my father disinherited me ; that, also, I strove to 
keep particularly secret ; but it got wind and blew all 
over the town. Then my creditors hunted me in and out, 
and out and in to all manner of lodgings, where I designed 
to be very secret. Next, my wife, poor dear ! died of a 
broken heart — having kept that, all along, a profound 
secret. Then I fell into extreme poverty, and all my 
friends left me; but that is no secret. Never to confide, 
or to harbour secrets — that is a secret worth knowing." 

" That is very true, sir," returned Ludlow, " but 
servants are not free agents. They are not, Mr. Burridge," 
he repeated, almost vehemently, observing that the other 
shook his head. 

"Ah ! well — a pity ! " said Burridge. 

" Let me entreat/' cried Ludlow, " as well for the sake 
of Lady Mason as of Richard, that you will take no steps 
at present to discover what it is so necessary should remain 
concealed. Why do I ask this ? not for myself but for 
c 4 



2 l 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



his sake, first ; for Lady Mason's, second ; for my own,, 
last." 

ee Glibly spoken/' remarked Burridge ; " what say you, 
Richard — Freeman ? " 

I answered, that I had the fullest confidence in Ludlow, 
that I was assured he meant all for the best ; and I 
suggested that, very likely, Lady Mason had recalled me 
so abruptly, for the purpose of disclosing all she knew 
of my birth. I added, plainly enough, that I had a right 
to demand this piece of justice at her hands, and that, if 
necessary, I should do so. 

This speech had a sensible effect upon Ludlow. He 
was embarrassed. 

" It is but for a time," he said. u I, at least, design 
that all shall one day be explained. " 

" Enough of this perversion of the gift of speech ; a 
truce to this mysterious mouth-work ! " exclaimed Bur- 
ridge. " This boy will prove an CEdipus for your Sphynx, 
1 doubt not. Should you require my assistance, Dick, 
you know where to find me. I leave you to him, sir, for 
the present," turning to Ludlow, ec and, indeed, it is no 
business, although I make it a concern of mine. Go and 
take leave of your friends — and of your enemies — for I 
suspect you have acquired both in this our microcosm." 

Of Tom Gregory, between whom and myself an entire 
friendship had existed from the first hour of our acquaint- 
ance, I took an affectionate leave ; and bade a cordial fare- 
well to some others, who might more properly be termed 
partisans than friends. Finally, I frankly offered my hand 
to Sinclair, assuring him — which was really the truth — 
that I bore him no ill-will ; and declaring that, since we 
should, perhaps, never meet again, it would gratify me to 
remember that we had parted on good terms. The awk- 
ward cub sullenly rejected my advances ; determined, as it 
would seem, that I should retain to the last my advantage 
over him. I have reason to believe that he never forgot the 
contemptuous smile which his brutal folly called to my lip. 

ec Here, Dick," exclaimed Burridge, as I re-entered his 
study. " Ludlow and luggage are waiting for you. Let 
me see ; you are now upon fifteen years of age ; four years 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



25 



have you and I been very good friends. Four times forty 
— one hundred and sixty. Surely, I can spare you two 
out of one hundred and sixty guineas. Buy a Horace, 
Dick, with one of them. Horace ! so easily construed — 
so difficult to translate ! And mark ; don't listen to what 
the fools tell you about Sallust; his style is a fine one. 
And never believe that Virgil was so much greater than 
Ovid. Nosey had as much poetry in him as the Mantuan. 
And always think for yourself — and do think, and think 
of me sometimes. And — there, go." 

I kissed the good man's hand reverently, and gratefully 
expressed my obligations for his care, his kindness, and his 
affection. 

ec Pish ! " said he, looking up to the ceiling. ee Away 
with him, Ludlow. Dick, you take with you the last 
corner of my heart. You have a right to it, you dog ! 
You found it when I thought 1 had none left. I shall see 
you when I come to London during the holydays." 

He shook Ludlow warmly by the hand. " My honest 
friend, let this boy be fairly treated — fairly — openly. 
What the deuce ! Who is his coxcomb of a father ? " 

i( He will be treated well, sir," said Ludlow. 

Burridge pointed to his heart. 

f€ Upon my honour, all will be done for the best — all is 
for the best." 

(C Then I believe you," returned Burridge, " Here, thou 
man of strength," to the porter in the hall, fe shoulder your 
burden. A heavy trunk, and a light heart, Richard, are 
good travelling companions." 

And away we went to the Nag's Head, Ludlow all sad- 
ness and silence, I all curiosity and impatience. 



CHAPTER III. 

RICHARD SAVAGE, AFTER MUCH ADO, SUFFERS HIMSELF TO BE PUT 
TO AN ART AND MYSTERY; BUT DOES NOT REMAIN LONG ENOUGH 
TO MAKE HIMSELF MASTER OF HIS CALLING. 

When we reached Tyburn turnpike, Ludlow proposed that 
we should get out of the coach ; and telling the driver that 



26 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



my trunk was to remain at the inn till called for, he mo- 
tioned me to take his arm, and we proceeded towards the 
house of Lady Mason. He had been more than usually 
taciturn during our journey — a circumstance which I at- 
tributed to the presence of other passengers ; but now that 
we were released, I took it for granted that he would open 
to me without reserve, the cause of my abrupt removal from 
school. No. He would tell me, he said, when we reached 
home. 

" Home ? " said I, " and is Lady Mason's house to be 
my future home ? " 

" Oh no ; it is a manner of speaking," he replied — "I 
meant after we had got there." 

We pursued our way in silence for many minutes. 

" Look at that house," he said, at length, " it is the 
residence of Earl Rivers." 

ce Indeed ! it is a very noble mansion." 

"It was, I should rather say, his residence ; for he is 
dead — lately dead." 

I had no reply to make. Be it so. I had never heard, 
nor had I the slightest desire to hear, of his lordship. At 
present, I was solicitous about the living, not the dead. 

When we were got "home," Ludlow conducted me to 
his own room, where he left me for more than an hour. 
He returned, apparently more crest-fallen than before, 
bringing with him a servant, who began to set forth the 
table for dinner. I viewed these preparations in silence, 
inwardly resolved to await with patience any communication 
he might be pleased to make. It was not till long after the 
cloth was withdrawn, that Ludlow opened his lips for a 
vocal purpose ; and when he did, it was somewhat tremu- 
lously. At length, he said, — 

" You are very anxious, Richard, to know the reason of 
your sudden removal from school : that I am forbidden to 
tell. It will be enough to say — " he paused. " You were 
going to say something, Richard?" 

" No, indeed, sir, I was not." 

ee Do not call me e sir/ Dick," said Ludlow, reproach- 
fully. "It will, perhaps, be enough to say that a very 
unlooked for change of affairs — affairs affecting you very 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 27 

# 

nearly — has made it absolutely necessary that you should 
no longer continue at St. Alban's." 

" I had concluded as much/' answered I ; fi but I want 
to know — and I think it only reasonable I should be 
satisfied — what this unlooked for change may be." 

" I am sure you will not think that I shall answer that 
inquiry/' returned Ludlow, as though he wished to carry 
the matter with a high hand. " I have already informed 
you that I am forbidden to tell you." 

" Come, come, Mr. Ludlow," said I in a heat, u I am 
no longer to be put off." 

" Put off, Richard ? " 

" Put off, sir — I am no longer a boy/' swelling as I spoke, 
in all the dignity of fifteen ; " and what you are forbidden 
to disclose, I, methinks, should be permitted to know." 

ei You ought to know this," said Ludlow, after a pause, 
during which he had been gazing at me with alarmed 
astonishment, " that I have been ever studious of your in- 
terest and happiness. My kindness to you during so many 
years — have I not been always kind to you ? " 

" Past kindness to cover present cruelty, perhaps," I re- 
torted, not a whit melted by this appeal : " but I see I 
cannot hope to learn any thing from you. I shall apply, 
therefore, to Lady Mason." As I said this I moved to- 
wards the door. 

u O — h ! " exclaimed Ludlow, with a long-drawn sigh, 
as of agony, taking my arm. " Sit down, Richard, and 
hear me. Lady Mason must not be intruded upon. Recent 
events have so flurried her spirits, that she is very ill. She 
is unable to see you." 

" She cannot be more unable to see me," I replied, " than 
I am unable to see the drift of this mystery. But tell me, 
what do you propose to do with me ? Whither will you 
take me ? Where am I to go." 

Another "O — h!" as long as before, and a wretched 
shake of the head. 

et If you knew all," said he, " you would pity us ; and 
me more than my lady. And one day you shall know all," 
he continued hurriedly, rising and holding up his fist, " and 
we'll, eh ? we'll one day do great things." 



28 RICHARD SAVAGE. 

e( Great things, I dare say/' said I, laughing, for Ludlow 
had talked in this strain before. Ci But what are we to 
do now ? 

(£ That's it — that's it/' said Ludlow ; " at present — 
only for the present, mind : Lady Mason wishes, but it is 
not my wish — that you should be put to a business, upon 
liking, as they call it, for a short time : we have applied 
to a person who will take you. He will be very kind to 
you, Dick ; he shall be. I'll take care of that." 

iC My education, such as it has been," said I, cc has not 
prepared me for business. But what is it ? " 

<c You are to — now do look upon it in the proper light — 
it is all for the best — indeed it is — you are to be put ap- 
prentice/' Ludlow blushed as he spoke it, ee to — a shoe- 
maker." 

Ludlow's blush was nothing, I suspect, to the deep 
suffusion that overspread my countenance. I felt my 
cheeks burn with it. 

(C A shoemaker ! " I ejaculated, at length — "what ! a 
shoemaker, a cobbler — a botcher of boots and shoes ! — 
a fellow in a leathern apron perpetually pulling two strings 
through a piece of leather — Ha ! ha ! ha ! " 

The prolongation of my laugh, which I believe was 
hysterical, alarmed Ludlow not a little. 

" For Heaven's sake, Richard, stop that laugh — you 
frighten me — indeed you do," cried he, following me 
about the room as I paced up and down. I recovered my- 
self after awhile, and turned upon him to vent my contempt 
and disgust, which were well-nigh choking me. There 
was a meek piteousness in his face that disarmed my anger. 
I was moved by it. 

" Tell me," said I, after a minute's thought, " is it 
necessary I should be thrust into this shoe-hole, or some 
as abject place ? " 

" Oh ! it is — it is," exclaimed Ludlow. 

" Enough : I will go there for a time ; just long enough 
to mark my obedience. Treat me as they will, or as they 
please, they shall find that one day a dear account must be 
rendered to me." 

" You consent, then ? " said he. 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



29 



" I do. When is my disgrace to commence ? " 
" Don't call it so," replied Ludlow. " No situation in 
life can " 

" Oh ! I know all that, my dear friend," said I ; "it 
is, as Mr. Burridge often said, the sop to Cerberus. But 
I was wrong ; it is their disgrace, not mine." 

" You will stay till to-morrow, of course ? " he in- 
quired. 

The question implied, as I thought, a desire that I 
should not. 

" Why ? what is this place to me ? " said I. " At 
once, and once more, I am at your disposal : next time, I 
shall be at my own." 

Ludlow would have folded me in his arms. He was 
delighted at my acquiescence ; but he looked grieved, too. 

iC No, no," he said ; u to-morrow morning will be early 
enough. It would be too bad, if you might not rest one 
night under this roof." 

I have observed during my life that a proud, if it be at 
the same time a generous, nature is, in many cases, an in- 
strument more easily played upon by the crafty and the 
designing than are the mean, the abject, and the subser- 
vient. Now, I had no reason to think that there was any 
kind intention towards me in banishing me to a cobbler's 
stall ; nor did I believe that any necessity existed for the 
disposal of me in so contemptuous a manner. My pride, 
however, seconded the views of those who had it in hand, 
as I believed, to persecute me. I was resolved upon show- 
ing them that, do what they would with me, they should 
not break my spirit, or compel me to relax my claim. I 
had Ludlow sure — I was certain of that. Every succes- 
sive occasion upon which I had seen him confirmed my 
influence over him. I could see that he had no strength of 
mind, or stability of purpose. That he was in no wise con- 
nected with me, he had often told me ; that Lady Mason 
had no right to exercise a direct control over me I had also 
gathered from him. 

On the next morning, Ludlow had me once more under 
his guidance, and telling me that Holborn was our destina- 
tion, we set out. My companion endeavoured to cheer me, 



so 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



as we walked along, by ringing the changes upon his u all 
for the best " philosophy ; but I had long since grown 
weary of that senseless chime, and I told him so. 

u Fulfil your orders," said I, sullenly ; c< take me to my 
den, and leave me." 

Ludlow sighed and hemmed, and scrubbing his chin, 
said no more. At length, he stopped, and retreating from 
the pathway surveyed a house, and then looked towards me, 
as if to ascertain how I liked its appearance. It was better 
than I had expected. 

cc This is the place," said he, knocking at the door. 

There were two persons in the shop, a man and a great 
lubberly boy ; and certainly two more ill-favoured speci- 
mens of humanity never clubbed faces together to keep the 
animal creation in countenance. 

" Well, Mr. Short, I have brought my nephew to you," 
said Ludlow. 

« Very good," answered Short, gazing upon me, his 
teeth, as it were, on edge, and his chevaux-de-frise eye- 
brows knitted together. " What is the lad's name ? " 

" Richard Freeman," replied Ludlow, and they talked 
together in a low tone for some time. 

C( I shall take care of all that," said Short, breaking up 
the conference ; " he will be treated, sir, like one of the 
family — like one of the family," he repeated, pointing to 
the lubberly boy, who had been staring at me, since my 
entrance, with his monstrous mouth half, but as I thought 
at the time, wide open. 

" Treated like one of the family — yes," said the boy, 
with a most odious snuffle, " I know he will. I'm sure, 
since I've been 'prentice, I've been treated much better 
than I ever deserved — that I have." 

Short directed an oblique, but complacent, glance at his 
hideous apprentice. 

" Do you hear him ? " said he, turning to Ludlow : " that 
boy has a notion o' gratitude I never saw the like on since 
I was born into the world." 

" I ought to," snuffled the boy ; " I know I don't deserve 
such goodness as is showered down upon me here," rubbing 
his elastic countenance with his sleeve. 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



31 



c< That'll do," cried Short. " Haven't I told you not 
to be always talking about that ? Let the gentleman out, 
will you ? Let him see how handy you are/' 

" Oh sure ! " cried the boy, rising on a sudden, and rush- 
ing to the door, and when he had lifted the latch, bowing 
to the ground. 

Ludlow would have taken leave of me, and tendered some 
money ; but I rejected his hand and its contents — a pro- 
ceeding that astounded the apprentice, whose eyes, when 
they alighted upon the silver, protruded from their sockets 
most awfully. 

I saw Ludlow, the minute after, looking through the 
window. He nodded his head, and smiled — and a dismal 
smile it was ; but as I disdained to notice their greetings, 
he turned slowly and went away. 

u There — sit down there, young fellow," said Short, 
pointing to a vacant seat, u and 111 soon set you about 
something. If I know what my duty is rightly, it is to 
make you a thorough good master of your trade, and that's 
what I mean to do. I'll make you, in time, as good as I 
am — you can't be better." 

" Oh no, sir, that's impossible, I know," said the ap- 
prentice. 

" Hold your tongue, Joe, when I'm a speaking," cried 
Short. " You talk very sensible ; but you will put your 
words in when there ain't occasion." 

" I fear I do, sometimes ; but 111 try to mend," said 
the boy. 

" I know you will, Joe," cried his master. ce Now, 
you Freeman, look at me." 

I examined his atrocious visage with minute attention. 

Ci When you see me," resumed Short, " you see one, as 
a man may say, who has risen out of the ground to what 
I am now ; and how do you suppose ? why, by honesty, 
industry, and steadiness." 

" That's good for the ears, that is ; that's real wisdom : 
— oh! do hear that," cried Joe in a kind of nasal rap- 
ture. 

c< Joseph Carnaby, you've broken the thread of my 
argument ; can't you admire what I say without inter- 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



rupting of me ? Where was I ? Oh ! this was it : — 
that when you once know Ishmael Short, you know him 
for ever after." 

Here the speaker paused, and looked towards me, as 
though awaiting a reply. 

" "Well ? " he said, at length, " ain't 1 right? " 

" I dare say you are," said I. 

(C Say, e sir ' to master when he asks you a question," 
cried Carnaby. (e Pray, sir, isn't your name a name in 
Scripture ? " 

" Ishmael ? it is ; " said Short. 

" Oh ! what a thing it is ! " — what a blessed thing to 
have had religious parents ! " sighed Carnaby. 

(e So it is," coincided Short ; " but that wasn't the 
reason why I was christened Ishmael." 

" Indeed ! sir," snuffled Carnaby. " What was ? " 

ce I've told you often ; but you've such a head," said 
the other. 

(e So I have, sir ; I'm very stupid, I know," said the 
apprentice. 

ce Well," began Short, with an important c hem/ " when 
I was a infant, I was as cross-grained a infant as ever 
was born into this world. I'd let nobody be, and no- 
body 'd let me be. And so, because Ishmael's hand was 
against every one, and every one's hand was against 
Ishmael, they called me after him." 

c( Dear ! dear ! but you've altered since then, haven't 
you, sir ? " said Carnaby. 

u That reminds me," cried Short, who had been casting 
sundry malignant glances towards me during his speech,, 
enraged, I suppose, that I evinced no extraordinary interest 
in his recital, and laying hold upon a strap, as he spoke, 
tc that I mustn't let young fellows have too much their 
own way, while they're under my care. You've felt this 
before now, haven't you, Carnaby ? " 

u I have indeed, sir," responded the apprentice, " and 
I am thankful for it. It has corrected many of my errors. 
I hope and trust. Punishment, I have heard you say, is 
good for youth, and so it is, sir." 

" Mind you don't catch it, Freeman, that's all," cried 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



33 



Short, brandishing the thong in the air. " Eh ! what ! 
that savage look again, and I'll — " 

" Do what ? " said I ; rising, " you dare not, sir, 
without cause. When I shall deserve it — " 

" Oh Freeman ! " began Carnaby ; but he got it 
smartly across the shoulders. 

" Hold your tongue, fool ! " exclaimed Short, and 
Carnaby's mouth, horribly distended, collapsed like light- 
ning. 

" When you do deserve it," continued Short, more 
mildly, te you shall have it, that's all." 

At this moment, before I could return an answer of 
defiance, which was at my tongue's end, the door opened, 
and a robust woman of vast proportions entered, a basket 
in her hand. 

" Ah ! he's come, is he ? " said she. 

" Yes, — look at him ; — that's him," replied Short. 

" Let's have a look at you," said Mrs. Short, for so it 
was, iC lift up your beak," and laying one hand on the 
back of my head, and seizing my chin with the other, she 
looked into my face, and Carnaby's alternately, and then 
burst into a loud laugh. 

" What's the matter now, Mrs. Short ? " said her hus- 
band. 

" Why, I'm thinking they wouldn't pair very well," 
she replied ; u they wouldn't do for chimbley ornaments." 

c * Chimbley ornaments ! " cried Short. 

" Oh ! Mistress ! " said poor Carnaby, " you're always 
making game of me ; I can't help my face." 

" That's a pity," she returned ; iC it wants some help, 
I can tell you ; " and then, having asked my name, and 
given me an encouraging chuck, she retired into the back 
room. 

" That's your mistress, Freeman," said Short. " There, 
wax these threads ; Joe '11 teach you presently how to fix 
these bristles to the end of them." 

" And a most excellent mistress she is to we," cried 
Carnaby, — "I know she is. I thank my happy fortune, 
I'm sure." 

D 



34 



TtlCHARD SAVAGE. 



(C I hope 7*e'll have grace to do so," said Short, pointing 
his awl at me. 

u Oh ! it is to he hoped, sir/' coincided the other, with 
an aggravated snuffle. 

An hour had not elapsed before I could perceive plainly 
that Short and I would never be likely, as the vulgar say, 
to set our horses together. A short scene at dinner con- 
firmed my conviction. 

" What ! " cried he, to his wife, " are you going to 
help him again ? He's had enough, I'm sure. Give that 
to Joe ; he's had scarce any." 

c: You had a mind to tell a round one when you were 
at it," answered Mrs. Short; u Joe has been served twice, 
and Freeman but once. Isn't that true, Joe ? " 

Carnaby's mouth was too full for utterance. He nod- 
ded assent. 

Short looked vengeance and hatred, as I handed my 
plate. His wife observed it. " A pretty thing," said 
she, " and you'd stint the lad, would you ? That's what 
you took his uncle's thirty guineas for, is it ? " 

cf Thirty guineas ! ejaculated Carnaby, with perpen- 
dicular knife and fork, " and was there thirty ? " 

6C There, now ; that's not meat for your porridge pot," 
interrupted Mrs. Short ; " hold your peace, or you'll get 
no pudding. Hand the beer this way, Short. Do you 
want any more ? " 

" I only know," said Short, pushing forward his plate, 
" that to overfeed boys " 

" Is not the way to starve 'em/' cried his wife, " that's 
all you know about it. Never mind, Freeman, don't cry, 
lad." 

" Cry, ma'am," said I, hastily. " I never do that." 

" I know you don't," she answered, laughing ; <( you're 
a good steel for a flint, I see. You'll strike some sparks 
out of him. Won't he, old fellow ?" to her husband. 

a Oh ! Mrs. Short ! " remonstrated Carnaby, with a 
mouth like a horse -shoe. 

<e And oh ! Master Long !" returned his mistress; and 
down came the gravy spoon upon his head. 

In the evening, Carnaby having closed the shop, was 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



35 



despatched to various places with completed orders ; and 
Short betook himself to the ale-house for an hour. When 
we were left to ourselves, my mistress took me into un- 
reserved confidence. 

" I like the look of you," said she, " but how you'll 
like us — that's a poser. There's Short — he was always 
an awkward one to manage ; but since that carneying 
Carnaby has been with us, it's as much as I can do to 
keep him under. That Joe — that Joe's as deep a put 
as here and there one. There — he flatters up that fool 
of a husband of mine, that he makes him believe he's one 
of the seven wise men ; when, if the truth must be told, 
he's no more brains than a broom-stick. I wish we could 
get shut of him ; but he's bound for five long years. 
That fellow 'ud make a mile- stone believe that the coach 
couldn't run without it, and 'ud natter a donkey's hind 
leg off — he would ! " 

Carnaby came into supper shortly after ; having eaten 
which, he expressed a desire of retiring to bed, and taking 
off his shoes, he scrutinised the soles closely. 

" How boys do wear out their shoe-leather ! " he ob- 
served, shaking his head, " and yet, ma'am, I take the 
utmost care, and never go upon the kibbling stones, I 
don't ; " and so saying, and sighing, he deposited them on 
end in a convenient corner. 

" Is Freeman to go along with me ? " he resumed, 
lighting a candle. I arose, and prepared to accompany 
him. 

u Oh, Mrs. Short," said he, with what was intended 
for a seductive smile, <e I shall be quite happy now I've got 
a fellow 'prentice." 

" Shall you ? " cried his mistress. " I thought you 
were quite happy before ; you've said so often enough." 

" Have I ? " cried he, " and so, sure, I have. But 
I'm very young yet, ma'am, and youths never know their 
own hearts. None rightly do, I have heard say. Good 
night, ma'am," and he retired slowly, with a very low bow. 

" Oh ! Freeman ! " he said impressively, when we were 
got into a back attic, containing two small beds, " how 
d 2 



36 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



glad I am you've come to live with us. Shall we be friends 
together ? " 

" If you like," said I. 

cc To live in peace and harmony with every one/' he 
rejoined, putting on his nightcap, " that's real happiness, 
that is. They are such good creatures — our master and 
mistress ; oh ! such a worthy couple. I strive to please 
them every way I can, by civility, and obedience, and at- 
tention to my duty ; and so I hope you will do, Freeman. 
Shall we have a long talk, brother ? " and clasping his 
knees with his arms, so as to make them a convenient 
support for his chin, he sat in the bed budge, and pre- 
pared for colloquy. 

I declined the offer on the plea of sleepiness and fatigue, 
and bade him good night. 

" Well, it will be best," he assented, subsiding softly 
into bed, iC for I get up very early of a morning. I light 
my mistress's fire; it isn't my place to do so; but it 
gets me her good will, which I hope to get from every one 
who may be pleased to know me. Besides, early rising is 
the way to wealth ; no one can be rich who doesn't rise 
betimes." 

" You learned that when you were a child," said I ; 
" I remember the stuff still : 

" Getting up early 
Keeps the wig curly ; 
Getting up late 
Makes a bald pate." 

" What's that ? " he exclaimed, in an ecstasy, popping 
up his head, " oh, Freeman ! do teach me that piece of 
poetry." 

1 repeated the doggrel, conjuring him to go to sleep, 
and let me rest in peace. 

" I never heard that before," he observed, and I shall 
never forget it. I'll lay it to heart, for it's true w r isdom. 
Oh, brother, and here he burst forth into a flood of cant, 
which I was constrained to stop by a threat of exercising 
my bolster upon his cranium. 

More than a week passed away, and I had just become 
thoroughly disgusted at the position I occupied in the 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



37 



the social scale, when an accident happened which pre- 
cipitated my departure whilst it furnished a pretext for it. 
I had already resolved within me that a fortnight should 
be my utmost limit ; the accident referred to abridged it 
by five days. 

It was on an afternoon, that Mrs. Short came into the 
shop with a pair of lady's shoes in her hand. 

" See," said she, i( these shoes are all ready, and 
Freeman shall take them home. He has not been once 
abroad since in the house he's been." 

" Give 'em to Joe/' cried Short, " he'll run with 'em. 
I'll keep this young fellow pretty strict; he's precious 
proud, and would be saucy if I'd let him." 

c( Now, Short," returned his wife, u I say that Free- 
man shall go ; you're for Carnaby : which, do you think, 
is to have their way this time ? Why, I shall, to be sure ; 
and so your parcel's made up. Here, Freeman, get your 
hat, and take these shoes to Mrs. L'Estrange, No. 15. 
Bloomsbury Square. It's hard by — just over the way." 

" Oh, ma'am," cried Carnaby, beseechingly, " do let 
me go with them to that excellent lady. I'm sure, when- 
ever she sees me, she gives me such good advice, that I'm 
all the better for it, every time I go." 

" You are all the better for something else she gives 
you, I take it," returned Mrs. Short, quietly, " and so 
there's a stopper for your cruet." 

The shoes being placed in a bag, I was sent away, and 
soon found myself at the door of Mrs. L'Estrange. The 
servant to whom I imparted my business, directed me to 
walk up stairs into the front room, where I should find 
the lady. When I entered the room, which I did silently, 
the door having been what is termed ' a-jar,' I discovered a 
very little woman, magnificently dressed, parading before 
a large mirror ; now advancing towards, and now retreating 
from it ; anon skipping from side to side in a manner so 
utterly wanting in vigour, as to betoken that the per- 
former was pretty well stricken in years. 

At length, either beholding my distant reflection in the 
glass, or hearing the short cough with which I sought to 
interrupt her measured exercises, she turned suddenly 
d 3 



SB 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



round, and presenting to inspection a face highly embel- 
lished with painty said — 

" And; pry'thee, who art thou ? " 

I stated from whom I came, and presented my cre- 
dentials. 

" And where is that respectful young man, who usually 
comes upon these occasions ? " inquired the lady ; " not 
gone, I hope ? " 

I answered that a pressure of business had prevented 
his attendance upon her. 

u Thou art a vast deal handsomer, child," she said, 
seating herself, " but I doubt whether thou wilt make thy 
way in the world as he will. Dost know how to handle a 
lady's foot," and she slipped off her shoe, and stretched it 
forth, gazing at it from side to side with much com- 
placency. 

" What is the lad's name — Carnaby ? yes, Carnaby 
says," and she simpered and continued to survey her 
symmetrical extremity, under her half-closed eye-lids, 
" that mine is the smallest foot in town. Come, give me 
one of thy shoes, while thou fittest on the other." 

I heartily wished, at the moment, that Carnaby were 
there, rather than I, to put his praise and practice into ope- 
ration. However, there was no help for it. Down I went 
upon one knee, and laying hold of the lady's ankle, endea- 
voured to insinuate the "smallest foot in town" into the shoe. 

u What in the name of Vulcan," exclaimed Mrs. L'Es- 
trange, " is the rude bear of a boy about ? Dost think 
thou art shoeing a horse ? Thou young Nero, thou ! " and 
she saluted me with several smart taps upon the sensorium 
with the heel of the other shoe. 

I raised my head hastily, as well I might, and with an 
unpardonable inadvertence caused it, with a crash, to 
come in contact with the lady's somewhat prolonged chin. 
I thought at the time, and so no doubt did she, that I had 
disarranged her dental economy. 

" Help !" in mercy's name, help ! " she cried, throwing 
herself back in her chair. Mr. L'Estrange ! where are 
you ? " and she repeated these outcries whilst I arose, dis- 
concerted, to my feet. 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



39 



The door of an inner room opened, and the tall figure 
of a young man entered, with a face so barren of expres- 
sion and insignificant of feature, as to appear transitive — 
a sort of vanishing countenance. 

" Wherefore is this outcry ? " said Mr. L'Estrange, 
raising his almost imperceptible eyebrows. (c My life ! 
what is the matter ? A pity," he added, passing his hand 
over his forehead, "that I cannot pursue my studies in 
peace — ever these alarming and heathenish diversions." 

" Bring me my salts, sir," cried his wife. 

u My dearest love, I will said the phantom. 

" Diversions, do you call them ? " exclaimed Mrs. 
L'Estrange, sniffing vigorously at her salts. 

tc Pardon me," cried the husband, hastily ; " I used the 
word in its strict sense. But what, my angel, has oc- 
curred ? who is this youth ? " 

Mrs. L'Estrange now recounted her mishap, and con- 
cluded by calling me a monster, and a young Scythian 
barbarian. 

" Ah ! I see — I see," said Mr. L'Estrange, taking a 
pinch of snuff, cc fortuitous, fortuitous. Is the mouth 
better now, my life ? " 

" Something easier, I think," replied the lady ; Ci send 
the odious boy away." 

" Now, I could prove to demonstration," said her hus- 
band, not heeding her, " either that you, my dear, were 
right, and the youth wrong ; or that the youth was right, 
and you, my love, were wrong. Firstly — " 

" None of your rights and your wrongs, and your de- 
monstrations, I beseech you," cried Mrs. L'Estrange; 
" they will only tire your " 

" Jaws ? " suggested L'Estrange. 

" Yes, without easing mine." 

L'Estrange gently pawed the air. — "A lingering pee- 
vishness !" he remarked, in an undertone. u Come hither, 
youth. Cannot you beg pardon of this lady for the alarm 
you have occasioned her ? " 

" Certainly," I answered, and stepping forward, I ex- 
pressed, in becoming terms, my regret at what had hap- 
pened — declared that it was purely accidental — and said, 
d 4 



40 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



in conclusion, that I was certain I should not plead in vain 
for forgiveness from so fine and so handsome a lady. 

The face of Mrs. L' Estrange underwent gradual molli- 
fication, as I proceeded with my speech, and by the time I 
had concluded, it had settled into confirmed benignity. 

" Didst hear, L'Estrange," she inquired. 

Ci Apt, concise, sufficient," he replied ; " take up your 
bag, youth, and depart/' 

" Canst make a bow, child ?" she said, with an amiable 
smile. 

I performed a respectful inclination. 

<c Did'st see, Jocelyn ?" she demanded. 

" Decent, polite, urbane/' said he. 

" Give him a shilling, Mr. L'Estrange, I beg ; I will 
reimburse you." 

I had made my parting bow, and was on the stairs, 
when he followed me. 

" Stay !" said he. His eyes were up-turned for a time, 
in meditation. 

Ci Inexplicable beings — are women!" he uttered, at 
length : " ah ! I forgot the shilling and drawing one 
from his pocket, he pressed it into the palm of my hand, 
as though designing to put me off with a mere impression 
of the coin. u Go," he said, relinquishing it, and making 
an abortive endeavour at a wink, " and thank the hand- 
some lady for it." 

When I got back, I could not forbear, Short being ab- 
sent, telling my mistress what had happened. She laughed 
heartily, shaking her vast sides with evident satisfaction. 

ec Here," said I, " is what Carnaby wanted," producing 
the shilling, which, with a fillip of my thumb-nail, I sent 
flying towards him. He caught it with admirable dex- 
terity, and committed it to his pocket. " How very kind 
of the good lady to send it to me !" he snuffled. 

i( Did anyone ever see the like of that?" cried Mrs. 
Short ; ic you sneaking hound ! Give it back, this instant." 

Carnaby looked astonishment at the unreasonable propo- 
sition. Happily for his bones, Short, at this instant, 
returned. 

" I'll take the dust out of your coat for this another 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



41 



time," said Mrs. Short, who, by way of entertaining her 
consort, forthwith narrated the particulars of my interview 
with Mrs. L'Estrange. 

However greatly Mrs. Short might have been tickled by 
my recital, certain it is, her husband could discover no 
humorous properties therein ; for, knitting his brows 
savagely, and setting his teeth on edge, he cast a baleful 
glance upon me, and worked his fingers upon the palm of 
his hand, as though inwardly moulding some fell intent. 

Ci And so," cried he, t( I'm to lose my best customer 
through that chap's impudence. No — no — that's a 
shoe that won't fit, as you say, Mrs. Short. I've beea long- 
ing to be at him this week past, and now I've caught him, 
sure enough." 

With this, he laid hold upon his often-menaced strap, 
and making towards me, dealt me a severe blow upon the 
side of the head. I caught the weapon with one hand, but 
it slipped through my fingers, and with the other aimed a 
retort, as he retreated, at the rascal's nose ; which was so 
nearly taking effect that he rubbed that feature incredu- 
lously, shaking his ugly jole as he did so. Snatching up 
a heavy last, as he prepared to repeat his blow, I bade him 
be upon his guard. 

" There, now, drop that," exclaimed his wife, inter- 
posing; " that dumpling's too hard for the meat." 

ec I shall not," said I, " till he lays down the strap — 
the base scoundrel." 

" Oh, Freeman !" cried Carnaby, who had been sitting 
open-mouthed during this scene, but who now arose, out- 
spread, as it were, like a phoenix, " you wouldn't go to 
fling that — oh la ! at dear good master. Murder ! " 

c< There, now, keep your rosin for another fiddlestick," 
said Mrs. Short, lending him an open-handed cuff, that 
sent him careering to the other end of the shop. 

" I'll give it the villain, soundly," exclaimed Short, 
who took advantage of my momentary observation of 
Carnaby 's evolutions to direct another cut at me, which I, 
however, evaded. The moment after, a hollow sound pro- 
ceeded from his stomachic region. The last had taken 



42 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



terrific effect in that quarter, and fell, as though purposely, 
upon his gouty toe. 

All now became confusion worse confounded. Carnaby 
dashed forward with affectionate eagerness towards his 
grinning master, hovering about him with whimpering soli- 
citations as to the amount of injury he had sustained. The 
awkward cub, however, during these officious blandish- 
ments, chanced to set his heel upon the ill-fated member, 
which the last had just previously inflamed to torture. 

" Curse you, you blaring brute, and yo u, too?" cried 
Short, in a paroxysm of rage and pain; 44 see how you 
like that," and down went poor Carnaby upon hands and 
knees. 

In the meanwhile, Mrs. Short, incensed at my treatment 
of her husband, advanced towards me with an enormous fist, 
designing to bestow upon me, as she would say, " a, goose 
for my gander but unfortunately for her, and just the 
reverse, perhaps, for me — just as she was making a fear- 
ful spring at me, Carnaby, impelled by Short, fell, as the 
vulgar have it, u flop " between us, over whom the fat 
woman tumbled like a sack of sand. 

" Drat that confounded blockhead, he's always " 

I heard no more. Taking advantage of the helpless 
condition of the trio, I seized my hat, and made the best of 
my way out of the shop. 



CHAPTER IV. 

IN WHICH RICHARD SAVAGE SHOWS HIS SPIRIT, AND GREATLY PER- 
PLEXES HIS AGED PROTECTRESS, WITH A MOMENT'S GLIMPSE OF 
A REMARKABLE LADY", AND HIS INTRODUCTION TO THE FAMILY 
OF A STRANGE ORIGINAL. 

Mv first impulse, when I reached Lincoln's Inn Fields, led 
me to indulge in an immoderate fit of laughter at the ex- 
pense of the cordwaining crew, whom I had just left in so 
disasterous a plight. But presently, the stinging pangs of 
Short's strap, which still preyed upon my ear, caused my 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



43 



thoughts to tend towards Ludlow, whom I resolved im- 
mediately to find out, and tax as the chief author of my 
disgraceful wrongs. By dint of many inquiries, and my 
partial recollection of the locality of Lady Mason s house, 
I was, at length, enabled to find my way thither. 

Ludlow was not a little surprised to see me ; and much 
more so when, leisurely divesting myself of the leathern 
apron, which Mrs. Short had provided for me on my in 
troduction to business, I folded it methodically together, 
and placed it upon the table, saying, ce Lie you there ; I 
have done with you for the present." 

" Why, what has happened ? " demanded Ludlow. 

I told him all, precisely as it had occurred ; inquiring 
at the conclusion what he thought of it — and of me — 
and of himself. 

An angry scene ensued. Ludlow begged, threatened, 
promised, entreated. Would I return for a month, for a 
few days, for a week, till he could bring over his lady to my 
view of the question ? No — no — no. Go back, I would 
not. See Lady Mason, I would. I was inflexible, and 
Ludlow began to wring his hands. 

" Would to heaven ! " he exclaimed, " that I had had 
nothing to do, from the first, with this unfortunate busi- 
ness ! I never approved of the design of putting you to a 
shoemaker ; but what could a poor fellow like myself do ? 
Women, Richard, — even the best, — and Lady Mason is 
a good woman, — will have their own way. I fear, I shall 
never prevail upon her to see you." 

" Yes you will, when you inform her that I mean to go 
before a justice, and tell him how I have been treated ; 
and demand to know by whose authority her ladyship has 
been constituted battledore, and how much longer I am to 
play shuttlecock/' 

c< Good God ! why, you wouldn't do that, surely," cried 
Ludlow, alarmed. 

I suspect he could see by my face that I would be as 
good as my word ; for he precipitately left the room, to 
confer with Lady Mason. 

He returned in about three hours. 



44 RICHARD SAVAGE. 

" I have been gone a long time/' said he, " and here 
have I left you sitting in the dark." 

ce Yes/' I replied, " here have I been sitting in the 
dark. I hope, now you are come, you are disposed to en- 
lighten me." 

He would not perceive my drift, but rang for candles. 
" Richard," he said, " you have greatly distressed and 
offended Lady Mason. Your threat of going before a 
justice has pained her exceedingly. It would do you no 
good. You would be abandoned by all your friends, and 
by her, who is, I assure you, your best friend/' 

" Will her ladyship see me ? " I inquired. 

ce She will to-morrow morning. In the meantime, she 
desires that you will reflect upon your folly (as she calls 
it) in leaving a situation she has been at some pains and 
expense to provide for you. She expects that you will be 
prepared to go back again to-morrow." 

I smiled in bitter scorn. " Have you a book you could 
lend me ? " 

" Dick," cried Ludlow, c< you shan't go back. How 
came it not to strike me before ? I can place you with a 
person " 

C( A tailor, I suppose, Mr. Ludlow," said I ; " a very 
decent handicraft." 

"A tailor!" cried Ludlow, with unusual animation, 
" hang the cross-legs. No, Dick ; he's a gentleman who 
has been in want of a clerk for some time ; and Til make 
a gentleman of you, I've saved money, and I've no one I 
ought to care for, and nobody cares for me. And " 

u Well, but, my dear friend," I interposed — 

" And if Lady Mason will not do you justice within 
three months from this time, I will. You shall know all. 
Yes — yes," he pursued, earnestly, " it shall out. I have 
been too tame — too weak, foolish, complying." 

" I will hear what Lady Mason says to-morrow morn- 

tog." 

Ci You will hear nothing/' he answered, w but that you 
must go back to the cobbler. Oh ! she has wished to be 
your friend, but a cursed fate has prevented it. She need 
not know but that you have returned to Short. I will 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



45 



have it so. Will you promise to be patient for three 
months longer ? " 

(C I do not know that I ought/' said I. 
" I do/' he replied. " It must not be longer, I will 
tell her so." He added, with a peculiar look, " It's 
against nature." 

" How if I should be able to prevail upon her to do me 
j justice to-morrow morning ? " 

" Lad ! lad ! I wish you could ! " he returned ; " but 
that, I fear, cannot be. She has stronger reasons than 
ever for secrecy ; but I am not — must not be bound by 
them. Come, we will have some supper." 

On the next morning he tapped at the door of my 
room, and on being admitted, " See," said he, " I have 
brought you your best suit. Make yourself as gay as you 
can, and show her ladyship that you don't look like a cob- 
bler, at least. Be very respectful, I entreat. Should she 
dismiss you before I return, wait for me in my room. I 
am going to Myte." 

" Who is Myte ? " said I, as we ascended the stairs. 
" Hush ! " he replied ; " the gentleman to whom I 
mean to introduce you." 

He left me at the door. " Now, be very, very respect- 
ful to her ladyship," he repeated, giving me the model of 
a reverential bow. 

I found her ladyship seated in state, with a set and 
j formal face, assumed, doubtless, to daunt me ; but it had 
i a directly contrary effect. It re-called my self-possession. 
" Richard Freeman," she said, and hesitated. 
I approached, bowing profoundly. " I wish, madam, I 
might crave the honour of hearing, for the first time in 
my life, and from your lips — my real name." 

" Sir," she exclaimed, angrily, and scanned me with an 
uncertain eye that avoided mine — u your schoolmaster 
has, at least, taught you confidence." 

" I am happy to hear it," I replied ; " I shall, I fear, 
need it. Your ladyship, permit me to hope, has no inten- 
tion of teaching me shame." 
" Insolent!" 

" No, madam, not so;" and I stood erect before her. 



46 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



" Why, but to disgrace, to humiliate, to degrade me, have 
you committed me to the indignity of submission to a 
cobbler ? No, madam, you shall not teach me shame." 

ee Child," replied her ladyship, " and proud child that 
you are ; it was with no such intention that that calling 
was provided for you ; circumstances alone render it im- 
perative that you should be so disposed of." 

" Calling ! " ec Disposed of ! " phrases my young sto- 
mach was too high to bear. 

u Madam," said I, " since — so Ludlow tells me — 
these circumstances are not to be made known to me, I 
must be allowed to object to the calling they point out, 
and the disposition of me they enforce." 

"How, boy?" said Lady Mason, angrily; but there 
was a softened sorrow in her eye which I noted well ; 
" do you dare to repeat the threat you held out to Lud- 
low?" 

" No, madam ; because I am sure it is unnecessary. 
You destined me for something better, when I was igno- 
rant and would have been contented with something 
worse; you must not — let me say so — you must not 
condemn me to this, having made me worthy of a higher 
station." 

She offered no reply, but sighed heavily, covering her 
face with her handkerchief. 

6C Let me be for a few minutes," she said, at length. 
" I will consider. Would to God you had never been 
born ! " 

" Of such inexplicable and invisible parents," I added, 
mentally, as I retired from before her. (C Old Mother 
Freeman was worth a score of such enigmatical kindred." 

After a quarter of an hour's cogitation, she recalled me. 

u I have been turning over in my mind your objections 
to the course of life I had designed for you," she said ; 
" and I think something better may be done for you. 
But I must not be hurried. Indeed, at present, I know 
not how I can serve you. Return to your employment. 
Be a good and obedient boy, and perhaps in a few 
months " 

ec I will trouble you no more, madam/ said I, impa- 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



47 



tiently ; neither will I fulfil the threat I held out last 
night to Mr. Ludlow. I will pursue my own course, and 
it shall not lie in the direction of a cobblers stall." 

" Stay !" cried her ladyship, recalling me, " that must 
■ not be. Oh ! how cruel is my situation ! Even you, 
Richard, did you know it, would pity me." 

And so I did, to see the tears trickling down that vene- 
j rable face ; but I would not show that I did. It occurred 
to me, however, that Burridge's advice, as to supplication 
on a bent knee, might be worth adoption for once. I 
I advanced, therefore, and was about to throw myself at her 
i feet. " Oh, madam ! hear me," I began ; but the ghastly 
expression of her features arrested me. She was gazing 
intently, it seemed, at something behind me. I turned — 
a lady stood before us. 

She was a majestic woman of fine proportions. Her 
features were prominent and handsome, her complexion 
was light and singularly clear, and her eyes were large, 
grey and lucid. 

She smiled, observing our confusion, and gently tapped 
her arm with her closed fan. I thought, when she did 
smile, I had never seen a sweeter — rather, a more gra- 
cious lady. 

ce Your ladyship has a youthful suitor," she remarked. 

Lady Mason at last found her voice. 

" Ludlow's nephew," she said ; " go away, my good 
boy ; I will think of your application, and let your uncle 
know my mind upon it." 

ie Mr. Ludlow's nephew! — indeed !" cried the lady; 
" I did not know he had one." 

I bowed, and was retiring. As my glance met hers, 
there was a slight parting of the lips, and an elevation, 
scarce perceptible, of the eyebrow ; and then the same 
enchanting smile. 

I approached the door. Ludlow was there ; thrust 
bodily into the room, one hand half-clenched raised to his 
head, the other out-stretched, with an upturned crooked 
finger. His face — it was not so much like a face as a 
mask — all eyes and teeth, and eyebrows to the very wig. 
Seizing me, when I came within hand-gripe, he pulled me 



48 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



out of the apartment, and hurrying me down stairs, hud- 
dled me and himself into his own room, the door of which 
he locked. 

" Well, Dick," said he, in a hasty and excited manner, 
as soon as he could get his breath, " Myte is prepared to 
receive you, and is anxious to see you." 

" So it seems," I replied, (i and impatient too, or why 
did you hale me down stairs in that extraordinary manner ? 
Who is the beautiful lady above ? " 

" Beautiful, do you call her ? " cried Ludlow. " She, 
beautiful ! She may be ; but well do I know — too well 
do I know — that beauty and goodness don't always go 
together." 

" Well, but who is she ? " I repeated. 

" She is a woman, Richard — hush, hark ! going so 
soon ? " 

He listened intently. There was a rustling in the hall 
— the street door was opened and closed presently. 

" Thank God ! she's gone," said he ; " who is she ? 
did you ask ? — she's a woman who hates me, as she hates 
the devil, I was going to say — but him she loves — a 
woman who thinks I have already too much encroached 
upon my lady's goodness, and who, knowing you are my 
nephew " 

" Which she does not know," said I. 

" She thinks so ; and would strive to injure me and 
you " 

" That is not likely !" I exclaimed, interrupting him. 

" Do you mean to say " A thought suddenly struck 

me, " that lady is connected with me, Ludlow ? " 

" No," he replied, promptly. 

My looks repeated the question. 

ec On my soul, she is not ! " 

ee Who is she, then ; what is her name ? " 

" Perdition seize me, and the lies I am forced — driven 
to utter ! " cried Ludlow, violently ; " but you shall not 
make me tell them. What is she, or her name to you — 
it is Bellamy." 

" Is she married ? " I inquired. 

"Yes, and has a numerous family — young mtsten 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



49 



and misses, as proud as their mother. She lives in St. 
James's Square. What more ? " 

" Is she related to Lady Mason ? " 

" No more than you are to her/' he answered, smiling. 

I would have proceeded with my interrogatories, but he 
was called away to attend his mistress. He returned with 
a sprightly air. 

" Good news, my boy/' said he. ei Her ladyship is 
delighted that I have obtained a situation for you with 
Mr. Myte. She allows that it is more suited to your 
education and prospects than the other. And she promises, 
and bade me tell you so — that within three months you 
shall be made acquainted with every thing." 

As we trudged along towards Myte's house, Ludlow 
enlarged upon the virtues and estimable qualities of that 
gentleman, telling me that he was one of the best of hus- 
bands, fathers, and friends — that he was rich, good- 
natured, and generous. He told me also that I should not 
want money — that he himself would supply me; that 
my evenings would be at my own disposal, and that I 
might see as much life, and enjoy as much of it, as I 
pleased. All this was especially gratifying, and disposed 
me to think much less of my parents, and a great deal 
more of myself. I fear I did not think enough of Lud- 
low's kindness. 

We were admitted into an office, where we discovered 
a rather elderly gentleman seated at a low desk. He arose 
at our approach — that is to say, he got upon his legs, an 
act which might have contributed to his former height 
some two inches. Ludlow was a man of small stature and 
proportions, but he was a giant to Myte, who was as 
diminutive as a man can be well supposed to be, who is 
not deformed. His face wac extremely fair, fresh, and 
plump, with a nose like a parrot's beak, and eyes of a 
similar, lateral, roguish gravity. A mouth like a little O, 
and a flight of chins leading down to his breast-bone, 
complete the picture. 

" And so you've brought him with you," he said, 
casting a sidelong ogle towards me. 

" Yes, here he is, sir," replied Ludlow. 

E 



50 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



" Getting towards sixteen, you said/' returned Myte. 
" Tall of his age — up in the air — one of the sky- 
sweepers. Do you know, Jeremiah/' turning to Ludlow, 
whom he took by the coat, " when I was his age, my 
grandmother thought I should have made a shoot upwards, 
and whenever the thought entered her head, and, (by the 
way, thoughts very seldom came there, and never stayed 
more than two minutes,) she made me march under her 
cane, which she placed horizontally against a line she had 
marked on the wainscot. I did it clean for three years, 
when the old lady lost heart, saying I should do for a 
Smithfield droll." 

Ludlow forced a grim smile. " She was mistaken/' 
said he. 

" None of your jeers, ' cried Myte. Ci Come, what is 
your nephew's name ? " 

" Freeman/' said Ludlow, " Richard Freeman." 

i£ Richard Freeman ! and a very good English name, 
too. Free man — it has an old British sound with it. 
Eh? what? just listen to this, Jeremiah Woful/' and 
with a theatrical air he repeated, — 

" ' I am as free as nature first made man, 
Ere the base laws of servitude began, 
When wild in woods the noble savage ran ! ' 

" That's John Dryden — one of his Almanzor flights ; 
and I've heard Betterton roll and thunder it out — I have. 
You may laugh, young gentleman/' addressing me, " but 
you had not laughed, had you heard Betterton. Why," 
nudging me, confidentially, u I have lent Betterton money." 

i£ And he repaid you, I have no doubt/' said Ludlow. 

^ Repaid me ! — ay, that he has, a thousand-fold. I 
saw him in all his best parts." 

cc He repaid you in money, 1 mean," observed Ludlow. 
" I have heard he was a man of honour." 

" The very soul of honour," cried Myte. " Who could 
think of that man's body ? I have got his bond, Jeremiah, 
and I would not part with his signature for twenty times 
the sum he signed for. But, get you gone ; Ricardo and 
I shall much better understand each other, and much 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



51 



sooner, without you." So saying, he pushed him out of 
the door. 

" That uncle of yours, Ricardo," he said, returning to 
me, " is the most sad-looking person these eyes ever 
lighted upon." 

" A very grave man, indeed, sir," I answered. 

" Grave, grievous — a face as much as to say, c Whose 
dog's dead, that I may come and howl over it ? ' No cause, 
no cause ; well to do, well to do. That is why I call him 
Jeremiah Woful." 

" Indeed, sir," said I, somewhat amused by this original. 

" Yes, indeed," he replied. " I have names for all my 
acquaintances. But you are looking for something to do. 
Do you like active employment ? " 

" I have no doubt I shall, sir, when I have become 
used to it." 

" That won't be while you're here," returned Myte. 
" Look you, my ingenuous young friend; I sell houses 
when I have houses to sell, to certain persons — when I can 
find them ; and I buy houses when there are houses to be 
bought from certain persons, who may wish to sell them. 
But at present I have neither houses to be sold nor persons 
to purchase, nor do I wish to have. All my business, 
therefore, is to do nothing, and look as though I had plenty 
to do ; and all yours will be to look as though you had 
plenty to do, and do nothing." 

" An easy life, sir," I said, laughing. 

" So so, for that," replied Myte : " I've found yawning 
hard work before now. But you can carry a letter, and 
bring an answer, and draw a bill, and say I'm out when I 
wish I were not in, and all that ? " 

" Oh, yes." 

" And all these things you promise solemnly to per- 
form?" 
"I do." 

" And you faithfully engage to talk no more than your 
tongue will let you, and as little good sense as you can ; 
not ' two and two make four — two and two make four,' 
in the moral or maxim way, for all that I hate ; besides, 
I know, in morals, two and two often make five." 

e 2 



52 



KICHARD SAVAGE. 



" I promise all this, sir/' 

i( Good lad, very good lad," said Myte. " Kiss that 
book," handing me a volume of the Tatler. " But come/' 
said he, "let's go up stairs, and see ' Heaven's last, 
best gift/ as the poet has it — the fair creation, three 
samples of which I have up stairs, Why, I have a wife 
and two daughters." 

" Indeed ! " said I. 

" Why indeed ? you should have said, c Joy be with 
you, Colbrand/ for that's my name. Mind that stair. 
That's been two summersets, seven sprained ankles, and 
bruised hips out of number. I've been thinking of having 
it mended these twelve years. When it comes to a broken 
leg, I'll have the leg and it set to rights together." 

" Here," said he, handing me forward, and presenting 
me to his wife and daughters. Good people, I've brought 
you a young friend, whom I commend to your especial 
good offices. This, Ricardo, is Mrs. Myte, known in this 
house (but only so addressed by me) by the style and title 
of Flusterina. My love," with assumed surprise, " I once 
told you, many years ago, that I loved the very ground you 
trod upon, and you're always reminding me of it, by carry- 
ing some upon your face." 

Mrs. Myte appealed to her daughters. 

(S Is my face dirty, my loves?" 

The young ladies smiled, and shook their heads. A 
slight tap with the fan upon the small skull of Myte was 
the gentle punishment meted out to the delinquent. 

" And here," continued Myte, e< are Madam Margaret, 
and Mistress Martha, commonly called my Goth and Van- 
dal ; they will permit you to salute their cheeks." 

The girls blushed, while I promptly availed myself of 
the privilege. 

" And now," said Myte, c( since you will have plenty of 
leisure to cultivate the esteem of these ladies, let me show 
you your dormitory. You must know," he resumed, as 
we ascended the stairs, " that I slept in that room for ton 
years, before I was married, and I used to call it — that's 
Signor Tomaso " — in parenthesis, pointing to a large 
cat which had been asleep on the landing, but which now 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



53 



came forward, and placing its fore-paws upon Myte's knee- 
pan, stretched itself leisurely. " I used to call it Paradise/' 
he proceeded, " it was such a snug room, till the fire broke 
ou^ and I had to jump out of the window into a large 
blanket." 

Having taken me into every room in the house, com- 
menting upon each, and inquiring at intervals, whether I 
thought I could be comfortable under his roof, he brought 
me back again to the drawing-room. 

u Go in there/' said he, " and make interest for a dish 
of chocolate. I am going to meet a gentleman at White's." 

The ladies vied in their attentions towards me ; and I 
soon began to feel, that if I were not as happy as I could 
wish with Myte and his family, it would be entirely my 
own fault. When Myte returned, and during the after- 
noon, he amused me with his innocent freaks and fooleries. 
In the evening, he played upon the fiddle, and made his 
wife sing, and his daughters dance, and tried to sing him- 
self ; and, finally, would have accomplished a dance, but 
that the potency of a sneaker of punch of which he had 
partaken had so impaired the stability of his small legs, 
that his family judged it inexpedient that he should 
hazard the feat. I myself confess to having seen two 
candles in my hand when I retired to bed ; and had Myte's 
disastrous stair been upon the flight I had occasion to 
ascend, I think it very likely I might have added to the 
list of casualties in his possession. 



CHAPTER V. 

IN WHICH RICHARD SAVAGE MAKES A VERY - REMARKABLE DISCO- 
VERY, AND FINDS THAT HE HAS MaDE AS REMARKABLE A MIS- 
TAKE. 

A good understanding subsisted between Ludlow and 
Myte. The latter had long ceased to sell houses, and was 
in reality a lender of money to great people, and young 
heirs, which latter, he used to say, if they were determined 
e 3 



54 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



to run through their estates, might as well buy their shoes 
of him as of anybody else. His transactions, therefore, 
required no assistance of mine. My days, indeed, were 
spent in his office, and not unprofitably, for he gave me 
free access to his library ; but my evenings were entirely 
at my own disposal. 

Ludlow came frequently to visit me, and on each suc- 
cessive occasion with an apparent increase of satisfaction. 
He supplied me with an abundance of money, and bade me 
want for nothing I could reasonably desire, which money 
might procure. Of daily wants, Myte was a most liberal 
purveyor ; but I soon became anxious to qualify for a 
pretty fellow ; and, accordingly, I recruited and embel- 
lished my wardrobe ; took lessons in fencing and dancing ; 
sometimes showed myself at a play — frequented a coffee- 
house of minor pretensions ; ogled the women, and made 
C{ the passion " my study. 

Myte was greatly amused at the gradual change in my 
appearance and manners. u On my word, Ricardo," he 
would say, turning me about, " Woful's money looks gay, 
rolled out into lace upon that coat of thine. You have 
already turned my Goth and Vandal's brains. They want 
hoops ; and Flusterina will have it so. Hoops ! when 
they get them, they must knock them off the tub of Di- 
ogenes, and bring me the old cynic's lantern, that I may 
look after two honest men to take them off my hands after- 
wards. Get a rapier next, and, the first thing you do 
with it, pink Jeremiah Woful. A few ounces of blood 
taken from him would do him much good." 

But if Myte was amused, Ludlow was delighted. That's 
it — that's it," said he one day, " this is what 1 always in- 
tended, but the bowl, as I may say, was not rolled on the 
right bias. Do you see much company up stairs ? " 

ec O yes ; frequently." 

(e Young fellows, I suppose, after the daughters ? " 

6C There are two or three, who, I dare say, meditate ' 

ee Marriage ? — urn ! M said Ludlow — " well ; that's no 
business of ours. Have you seen any one you know, 
Richard, since you have been here ? " 

ee Whom do I know ? " J replied. 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



55 



ff I mean," pursued Ludlow, " any one you have seen 
before ? " 

" Not a soul." 

u Ludlow was silent for a short space. " Mr„ Burridge 
has been in town," he said, at length. 
" Indeed ! " 

cc Ye ; and waited upon Lady Mason, who decline to 
see him." 

Is not that rather extraordinary ? " said I. 

" I don't know," he continued. <f He wanted to know 
where he could find you, but I was forbidden to tell him." 

A scene of anger on my side, and pretexts and excuses 
on his, ensued. 

About ten days after Ludlow's visit, a lady, stepping 
out of a chair, entered the office — the very lady whom I 
had seen for a moment, at Lady Mason's house. I laid 
down the book I had been reading, and advanced from my 
desk. She started — no, the word is too strong — she 
drew back her head on perceiving me, and inquired if 
Myte was at home. I replied that he was. 

" Surely, young gentleman," she said, " I have seen you 
somewhere — not here — but — " 

" At Lady Mason's house, madam," I replied. 

She did start, then ; and a gravity took possession of 
her face. c< I remember. You are, then, Ludlow's 
nephew ? " with a forced complaisance. I bowed. 

6i Will you be so good as to apprise Mr. Myte that I 
am here ? " 

" Certainly, madam," and I proceeded to Myte's pri- 
vate office. 

Ci Mrs. Bellamy, sir, desires to see you," said I, ac- 
costing that gentleman, who was engaged upon an occu- 
pation very common with him, namely, carving with his 
penknife a small hideous head out of wood. 

" Mrs. Bellamy ! " he exclaimed, laying down the sub- 
ject of his labours, "and who, Ricardo, is Mrs. Bellamy?" 

" I really don't know," I replied. 

6e Nor I," he returned — " Bellamy ? Bellamy ? Let's 
call in the aid of one's optics. We'll go and see Bella- 
mira. Come along." 

e 4 



5o 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



My te fell back a pace or two, when he beheld his visiter. 
c( Why, Ricardo," he cried, with an inquisitive side-eye, 
<c who told you this lady was Mrs. Bellamy ? Madam/'" 
turning to her with a low bow, " the honour you do 

me " " 

" Will be soon forgotten in the occasion, no doubt/' said 
the lady smiling. <c I have come upon my old business. 5 ' 

(i My dear madam/' returned Myte in a deprecating 
tone, Ci if I had Plutus' mine, my very good friends 
would exhaust it : nay, it is worked clean out." 

(i You must discover a new vein for me, however, good 
Mr. Myte," she answered, laughing. u But I mistook 
you for a man of gallantry, sir. Do you keep a lady 
standing ? " 

■ c A thousand pardons ! " cried Myte, hurrying to the 
door of his private office, which he opened. " Be pleased 
to honour me by walking this way/' 

As the lady swept past him into his room, Myte faced 
about towards me, casting up his hands and eyes ruefully ; 
and then, throwing out one foot, and turning round 
swiftly upon the toe of the other, tottered after her. 

I waited with indescribable impatience the termination 
of the conference between this lady and Myte. What did 
Ludlow mean, who must have known better, by calling 
her Bellamy ? Why did he inquire of me, whether 1 had 
seen any person since I had lived with Myte, whom I had 
ever seen before ? Besides, there was something in her ap- 
pearance, in her face, in her air, that would have excited 
my curiosity, and engaged my interest — I think so — 
had I beheld her under the most ordinary circumstances. 
Wherefore should Ludlow have withdrawn me from her 
presence in so abrupt, so alarmed, nay, in so terrified a 
manner ? Why did Lady Mason turn pale and tremble ? 
Why, lastly, was I such a blockhead as to give credence 
to the wretched story — the lie, which Ludlow, at a 
moment's notice, had set up, and which had stood thus 
long ? 

While I was yet revolving these doubts, the lady and 
Myte came forth ; the latter bustling forward to hand her 
to her chair. She regarded me, as she passed, with a look 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



57 



of more than common observation. I returned her gaze, 
for the first time in my life to a human being, timidly, 
and with hesitation. There was a fascination in her eye 
that held me spell-bound. Beautiful she was, but not 
young. She might be — my heart fluttered in my bosom 
at the thought — my eyes filled with water — she was 
gone. 

" Do you think," said Myte, returning, ec because you 
are one of the sons of Adam, that his prerogative has de- 
volved upon you of bestowing what names you please ; or 
are you going to take a leaf out of my book, or to snatch 
my book out of my hands ? Bellamy ! But what ? 
what ? you are ill, Ricardo. What ails you ? You're as 
white as a chamberlain's wand/' 

I replied that a sudden faintness had seized me, but that 
I was now better. <f Who, then, sir," I added, " is that 
lady ? Mr. Ludlow told me her name was Bellamy." 

" Epigrams upon a tombstone ! — Woful turned wag ! " 
cried Myte ; ee I call her Semiramis ; she's as proud as 
the Queen of the Assyrians, as high as the Tower of Belus. 
Mortals call her Brett — Mrs. Brett." 

" Do you not think her a very fine woman, sir ? " I 
inquired. 

(£ Pandora's box looked like a casket," answered he. 
" If I were to tell you her history — but, Lord ! Ludlow 
has done that, no doubt, and called her Bellamy to conceal 
the relationship." 

" Related to Ludlow ! " cried I, in amazement. 

" I hope Jeremiah has worthier kin," said he. " No 
— to Lady Mason — she is Lady Mason's daughter." 

Oh, Ludlow ! I cursed him at that moment. <e No 
more related to Lady Mason than you to her." He had 
said this. Lying rogue ! And yet, what, after all, if he 
had spoken truth ? I was in an agony to learn all that Myte 
could communicate. " Pray, sir," said I, " tell me the 
history of this lady." 

Myte, having seated himself, had thrown his leg over 
his knee, which he was smoothing with his hands, pre- 
paratory to the expected narrative, when a young gentle- 
man walked into the office. I wished Mr. Langley, for 



58 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



that was his name, in a certain place, which, perhaps, will 
never receive him, for his ill-timed visit. 

Mr. Langley was a gay young fellow about town, heir 
to a good estate and a baronetcy, of considerable collateral 
expectations, with a tolerable figure, good teeth, and great 
vivacity, which he mistook for wit. He was a frequent 
visiter at Myte's house, and the very humble servant of 
Madam Margaret, whom her father with good-natured in- 
justice, termed " Goth/' and who, countenanced by her 
mother, graciously received Mr. Langley's attentions — 
attentions which Myte himself could not, or would not, see. 

" My dear c multum in parvo,' " cried Langley, " thou 
6 sunshine in a shady place/ I want a ray of beneficence 
from you. Shine out fifty pieces, or I am undone." 

"I can't, Alcibiades Wildgoose," returned Myte, look- 
ing up, with his foot in his hand. " Can't — Mrs. Brett 
has been here, and has shorn me of all my beams. I'm 
as dull as a pewter platter." 

" Hang her ! syren," said Langley ; " as gay and ex- 
travagant as ever. But what am I to do ? If I run 
after the Israelites, I shall soon be, like Pharaoh and his 
host, under water." 

"Borrow of the wandering Jew," answered Myte : "he 
must have saved money by this time, or the devil's in it." 

"Nay, if the devil's in it," retorted Langley, "he has 
got it by him. Can you help me to a knowledge of his 
residence ? " 

" Somewhere in the Mint," said Myte. " But, to be 
serious, do you call the life you lead pleasure ? " 

" Why not? Ask Freeman. What do you say, Dick ?" 

" Toiling in a perpetual round," continued Myte, " run- 
ning fruitlessly after happiness, when, if you stand still, 
you have it. I say, Wildgoose," he added, "did you eve* 
see a kitten in pursuit of its own tail ? Round and round 
goes the little devil, now on one haunch, then on the other, 
gravely kicking and grinning, and all for what ? Why. if 
it sat still, there's its tail under its nose. Now, that's the 
( moral ' of a young fellow of pleasure." 

" I take you," said Langley. " But did you ever siv 
an old cat, sitting with its nose on a level with the knob 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



59 



of the poker ? There it sits, winking and blinking — 
now a purr — now a sneeze — then a chasm of the mouth 

— then a cushion of a paw rubbed over face and ears — 
presently a long dose, and after that a long stretch, with 
an inverted semicircular back, and a hind ; leg stuck out, 
as though it wanted to get rid of it. Now, that's the 
e moral ' of an old fellow who thinks himself happy. Come 

— come ; let me have the fifty pieces/' 

" If," exclaimed Myte, u you were to cut me into fifty 
pieces, and could make a little Daniel Myte out of every 
one of them, and were to send all of them prancing about 
town to raise the money in my name, it would be of no 
avail. I tell you, you can't have it. I'll stand godfather 
to your extravagance no longer. What, if the old gentle- 
man were to come to me, saying, ' Daniel Myte, Daniel 
Myte, why do you lend my son money, which is to be 
paid down on my coffin-plate ? ' What should I answer 
to that?" 

" This," said the other — " c Everard Langley, Everard 
Langley, why have you not an eye to see your son's merit, 
and why don't you make him an allowance worthy of a 
man of his figure ? If you did, Daniel Myte would keep 
his money, and your son wouldn't have to melt down your 
coffin-plate, which, if you don't mind, he'll be compelled 
to do.' That speech would go far to melt him, Daniel 
Myte. Are the ladies at home ? " 

" They are," answered Myte, " and I intend they shall 
remain so." 

" Well," said the other, " I'll but pay my compli- 
ments to them, and be gone. Your servant, Myte ; yours, 
Dick." 

*' When a man wears red-heeled shoes, and carries a 
cane at his wrist," observed Myte, after Langley was gone, 
" I give him up. I should like, Ricardo, to exercise the 
cane over the shoulders of such pretty fellows — fellows 
of fire, as they call themselves ; I'd make 'em take to their 
red heels. A pity, too ; the man's not without sense or 
spirit." 

I should, probably, have forgotten this trivial talk long 
since, but that the critical time at which it took place has 



60 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



made it inseparable in my memory from the conversation 
that preceded and followed it. 

" Would you oblige me now, sir," said I, " by telling 
me all you know about Mrs. Brett? I am quite curious,'' 
I added; with as much calmness as I could command, ie to 
hear her history." 

iS I had forgotten Semiramis," cried Myte. " I wash 
she could be brought to forget me. Why, Ricardo, that 
woman, some years ago, was Countess of Macclesfield ; 
ay, you may stare — a countess. Well, sir," and here he 
looked into my face some seconds before he resumed, " to 
what a pitch human assurance — shocking, hideous im- 
pudence — may be carried, was only conjectured, nay, 
perhaps never imagined by mankind before, till she ex- 
emplified it ! — what do you think that woman did ? " 

I was surprised and shocked, and answered nothing. 

C( Wliat do you think she did ? " he repeated in a mea- 
sured tone. " Can you conjecture ? " 

« No, sir." 

ce No sir," said Myte, assentingly, " and no sir ever 
could, of his own mind, or madam either. Some months 
before she brought her child into the world, she declared, 
voluntarily — with a voice like a human being, not a fiend, 
as it should have been — and with a face without a vizard, 
that her child, then unborn, was not the child of the Earl 
of Macclesfield, but of Earl Rivers." 

<e Earl Rivers ! " I exclaimed, involuntarily, " what! the 
fine house in St. James's Square ? " 

" Yes, the fine house," said Myte ; "he lived in a fine 
house ; but he's lately gone, to a house not nearly so fine, 
where he does not live." 

" And was it the child of Earl Rivers, sir ? — a boy ? " 

ee Who was its father, and what its gender, I don't 
know," returned Myte; "but I beg her pardon — I be- 
lieve she spoke the truth. A few months after the birth 
of the infant, the Earl of Macclesfield succeeded in get- 
ting a divorce — her fortune was returned to her, and she 
shortly after married Colonel Brett ; and that's the end of 
my story. If you want to know more, Woful's your 
man." So saying, Myte betook himself to his own room. 



HICHARD SAVAGE. 



61 



It was a relief to me that he did so. Every thing con- 
curred^ when my mind acquired sufficient serenity to en- 
able me to compare and combine the several circumstances 
before me, to the conviction that I was that child. It 
must be so. I had seized my hat and was hurrying away 
to Ludlow, when it occurred to me that I had best un- 
wind this ravelled skein myself. Ludlow and Lady Mason 
were in a plot, not against me alone, but against my 
mother. I did not reason why it should be so ; or, rather, 
I did not labour that thought. I felt, at once, that no 
human motive could be assigned for such atrocity of 
wickedness — and yet the suspicion arose again and again. 
Feelings that I had never before known began to stir within 
me. A mother — and such a mother ! I was thinking 
of her beauty, then — her grace — her sweetnesss ; but 
presently all that Myte had said returned to my memory. 
And what was there in his story ? He was violently pre- 
judiced against her ; doubtless by Ludlow, the emissary of 
her relentless and persecuting mother, who had wrested 
me by force from her maternal arms. Grant the first 
shame — the w r rong done to her husband — all else was 
noble. She might have imposed me — me — for Richard 
Freeman it was — upon her husband as his own child — 
she might have remained a countess, and retained her re- 
putation. She loved him not ; but she would not do him 
a dishonour, even though it should be known to herself 
only ; rather than that, she had brought dishonour upon 
herself, to be known to the whole world. 

I was tempted, when next I saw Myte, to put one or 
two further questions to him. 

" Pray, sir," said I, <f do you know what became of 
that child ? " 

" What child ? " asked Myte. (< Lord ! how the booby 
stares ! One of the children in the wood, or the babes in 
the Tower ? ' That child ! ' Do you mean that child 
with two heads shown at Smithfield some years since ? 
When one of its heads fell off by accident, the Merry 
Andrew picked it up and put it in his pocket, saying it 
v T as a serviceable trifle, and would be wanted again at 
Fpping, next day." 



62 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



C£ No, sir/' I replied, Ci I meant the child of Mrs. Brett.' ' 

" You take a deep interest in Mrs. Brett," said Myte ; 
" Brett and brat are alike indifferent to me, Ricardo. The 
child died." 

My heart sank within me. 

" Died, sir ? — are you sure the child died ? " 

" Well," said Myte, with an oblique eye, " as I am 
• neither a doctor nor an undertaker, 1 didn't help to kill or 

bury it. Ludlow told me, many years ago, that the child 
was dead." 

e( Do you remember, sir," I inquired, hesitatingly, 
" how many years it may be since the divorce of the Earl of 
Macclesfield from Mrs. Brett? I ask merely out of curiosity." 

" So I suppose," returned Myte, u most questions have 
their origin in curiosity. But I do remember that. It 
was in the March of the year in which Aunt Judith died, 
who stood godmother to Vandal, and who, like many 
ladies who have nothing to do, interested herself greatly 
in what didn't concern her; for instance, this divorce, of 
which she was always chattering. ' Divorce ! — divorce ! 
— divorce ! — oh, the shocking creature ! Oh, the un- 
happy gentleman ! ' I thought she w T ould have divorced 
my soul from my body. It was worse than James the 
Second and the Pope. I had had that so many years that I 
had grown callous. I do assure you, Ricardo, I couldn't feel 
her loss so acutely as I might have done, had this divorce 
never come to pass. So far, I owe Semiramis something." 

" In what year was that, sir ? " I inquired. 

" In the year sixteen ninety-eight." 

The very year ! and they had told my mother I was 
dead, and she believed it. But we should be more than a 
match for them yet. 

" Mrs. Brett lives in the neighbourhood, sir ? " said I. 

a Not a child's trot off," answered Myte ; " I wish it 
were a giant's stretch. Hard by ; just round the corner 
in the next street." 

I awaited the approach of evening with the utmost 
anxiety. I would see her — I would discover myself to 
her, and baffle the pJans with which Lady Mason and her 
worthy coadjutor were teeming. So entirely had a belief of 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



63 



Ludlow's treachery possessed me, that I utterly over- 
looked certain otherwise obvious circumstances of his con- 
duct that might have inclined me to a contrary opinion. 
At present, it appeared to me that they had been putting 
me off with promises, in order to gain time for the con- 
coction of a plausible falsehood, by which it was designed, 
not only to conceal from me the secret of my birth, but, 
by the inducement of bribery, to prevail upon some ob- 
scure person to own and claim me, and so shut the door 
against future complaints and proceedings on my part. 
Two or three times I had resolved upon writing to my 
mother — endearing name ! by which, in my earlier years, 
although conscious of its falsity, I had been taught to 
address, and as I now, for the first time knew, to honour 
the persecuting and intolerable Mrs. Freeman. 

Nor did these tumults in any degree subside as the time 
drew near for presenting myself before her. A strong 
imagination supplied the deficiency of those feelings which 
only expand and mature under the sense of maternal love 
— of a mother's watchful care — of a parent's anxious 
protection ; and when, at length, I left Myte's house, 
having habited myself in my best apparel, and proceeded 
towards the dwelling of Mrs. Brett, I believe I experienced 
at the time some such yearnings of the soul and palpitations 
of the heart, as a long-absent son may be supposed to feel, 
returning to a mother whom he had loved from his infancy, 
and whom, in his infancy, he had been taught, and had 
known cause, to love. 

It was not, however, till I got to the door, that I 
bethought me of the probable effect so sudden and un- 
looked for a discovery must produce upon the delicate 
constitution of a woman. Here, again, my imagination 
was at work to magnify the consequences of my visit, and, 
perhaps, to palliate to myself the weakness that absolutely 
overwhelmed me, causing my fingers to withdraw from 
the knocker, and my feet to betake themselves to the other 
end of the street. During some hours, I wandered up 
and down on the other side of the way, looking wistfully 
at the house as I passed and repassed it, striving to ex- 
tract resolution from the steadfast bricks and mortar, which 



64 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



each successive time looked more awfully prohibitory. 
Ought I to be ashamed to acknowledge that I went home 
that night as wise as I came, satisfying myself with ex- 
cuses for my pusillanimity, which I had occasion to make 
use of on the next night, and on the next. 

I saw her once in the course of these perambulations. 
She came for an instant to the window. Her back was to 
the light, so that I could not distinguish her face ; but her 
figure was not to be mistaken. Upon this occasion I was 
so agitated, that when I recovered myself, I resolved, and 
fortified my determination with an oath, that on the fol- 
lowing evening I would make my way to her feet. I could 
no longer bear this state of suspense. 

T was there at the accustomed time, at my old spot, 
opposite the house. Again I beheld her at the window. She 
was gorgeously attired — I conjectured for an assembly; 
and looked out, as though observing the night. Presently 
a footman opened the street-door, and ran to the corner. 
He was gone to engage a chair. No time was to be lost. 
He had left the door open. I crossed the way, and entered 
the house. Not a soul in the hall, or on the staircase. The 
door of the room was partially open. I glided in, how, I 
know not ; nor did I approach her and throw myself at her 
feet, as I had intended ; but I stood stock-still — no, not 
so : still, that is to say, silent, but trembling violently. 

I think I must have looked wofully white, for when 
Mrs. Brett saw me, she uttered a half scream. 

u Who are you, sir ? " at length she said imperiously ; 
" what do you want ? You should have knocked before you 
entered the room. Were you admitted by the servants ? " 

I took courage, and approached. 

" Ha ! I see — Mr. Myte's young man : what is your 
business here, young gentleman ? M 
I fell upon my knees before her. 
<e Bless me, madam/' 

iC Bless you ! " she exclaimed, with a laugh. " Bless 
me, boy ! what is the meaning of this ? Why do you 
apply to me ? what can I do for you ? " 

e( Bless me, madam ! " I repeated. (C You see before 
you your son — I am your son." 

" You are a mad-brained boy, who deserve a whipping 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



65 



for your impertinence/' she said, after a minute's pause, 
and she laid her hand upon the bell-rope. " Rise, you 
young fool, and go away ; or my people shall take you 
where you will be well punished. This is one of your 

master's sorry jests — insolent old coxcomb ! Rise " 

stamping her feet. 

I found my feet and my tongue too. The worst was 
over, and I was not to be so repulsed. Snatching her 
hand, I said, — 

" Nay, but hear me, madam ; you must — you shall 
hear me. This is no jest — it is the truth. I am your 
son — the son you have so long believed dead." 

Her lips were parted for a scornful laugh — her eyes 
dilated — her brows raised; and then she saw me — gazed 
at me — into me. An unmoved eye confronted hers. A 
sudden change — a change as ghastly as sudden. There 
was paint upon her cheeks and on her lips — the rest was 
ashy. 

st Good God! — -good God !" she exclaimed, not smooth- 
ing, but dashing the hair from my forehead — <e it cannot 
be. Who are you?" — quickly — " you are Ludlow's 
nephew." 

" Your son, madam," I replied, " your son, as there is 
truth in heaven. Lady Mason knows it. Ludlow can 
vouch for it, and shall be made to do so. Lord Rivers " 

I had scarcely uttered the name when she franticly flung 
me from her. 

" Base, unheard-of imposture !" she cried, her eyes 
flashing as she spoke. " He shall answer it — Ludlow 
shall answer it, I say. Hence, at once, or I will alarm 
the house/' 

Again my eye caught hers, and again she scanned me, 
drawing herself up proudly. " Cunning, clever tool of an 
awkward journeyman, " she said contemptuously. <c If 
he knew how to use you ; but he does not. You will cut 
his fingers, fellow — or I will." 

<f You do him wrong, madam," said I, hastily, ee if 
you mean Ludlow. He knows not of my visit here ; he 
is ignorant of it, and that I have made this discovery." 

By this time, she had completely regained her self- 

F 



66 



KICHARD SAVAGE. 



possession. I watched her face. It was calm, cold, and 
malignant. She rang the bell violently, slowly nodding 
her head to me as she did so. 

u We will make another discovery between us, young 
gentleman/' she said ; " we will discover whether my house 
is my own, or no." She heard feet upon the stairs. 
"Help! murder! thieves! Lucas! John! where are 
you ? " 

I cast myself at her feet. " For Heaven's sake, madam, 
if you will not own, do not endeavour to degrade me." 

6< Where are my servants ? " she said, (what a hideous 
face it was at that moment !) addressing a little girl about 
twelve years of age, who ran into the room. 

ec I hear them coming, madam," answered the girl; 
" what is the matter?" 

ei A thief has broken into the house. Oh ! you are 
come at last ? " turning to two brawny rogues, as they 
entered. " Secure that young robber." 

The fellows laid hold upon me, and began to pull me 
zealously about the room. 

ei Oh, madam ! " interrupted the girl ; c< he is not a 
thief : I know he is not. He is a young gentleman. You 
did not mean to rob, did you, sir ? " 

ec I am no thief," I cried, breaking from the men who 
held me, " and she," pointing to Mrs. Brett, i( knows that 
I am not. She shall know that I am " 

" Silence him ! away with him ! " vociferated Mrs. 
Brett. 

iC Shall we give him to the watch, my lady ? " said one, 
seizing me by the throat. 

iC Yes — no," she answered, "turn him out of the house. 
He will not repeat his visit, I dare say," she added, with 
a shocking smile. 

" Do not hurt him, Thomas/' cried the little girl ; 
(( you will strangle him." 

" He's kicking my shins to splinters, Miss/' remon- 
strated Thomas, dragging me., with the assistance of his 
fellow-servant, to the door. 

What could I do against the well-fed villains who now 
forced me from the room with blind impetuosity, pre- 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



67 



cipitating my head, as they did so, into the stomach of an 
old gentleman who had been listening on the landing. 

ct I beg pardon, Mr. Lucas/' cried the more strenuous 
of the two, (e we have got a thief." 

66 What ! eh ? what ! what ! " cried the old man, heav- 
ing and panting. " A thief ! No such thing. He's 
Mr. Myte's youth. I've seen him there. A thief ! He's 
nearly stolen all the breath out of my body, if that's being 
a thief ; and I haven't much to lose. My lady is mis- 
taken. I must let her know who he is. Stay where you 
are ; " and the old gentleman walked into the room. 

" A pretty business, this," said one of the men to the 
other, as they waited for orders, wiping his perspiring face, 
cc thief-catching must be hard bread." 

" And keeping when you have caught," said the other, 
" that's all crust." 

Lucas now came out of the room, closing the door after 
him. " Let him go quietly, now," he said. " You have 
terrified Mrs. Brett very much, young man," he added, 
turning to me ; " but you won't do it again — eh? what ! 
what! — no, you won't." 

" They will treat me with more respect when I come a 
second time," said I, " and so will she — your mistress, 
and yours, fellows." 

ce Ay, ay, so they will," said the old man, patting my 
hand gently between his own. iC You're no thief; no, 
no, no; but you robbed me — he! he! he! — of my breath; 
you did, you did ; and now you're going to rob us of 
your company, ain't you ? So, so, so." 

And the old man led me down stairs, and tottered 
through the hall to the street door, which he opened. 

u Hark'ee, young man," said he, first cautiously looking 
round, lest he should be overheard, ee I shall see you 
again, eh ? — soon, soon, soon ; at Mr. Myte's ; you've 
seen me there ; yes, yes." 

ie Once, I believe I have, sir," I replied. 

Ci You shall see me again, eh ? again, again. I want 
to speak to you ;" this he said confidentially, nodding his 
head. " Good night ! eh ? your hat's wrong end fore- 
most ; put it right — ah! that's right. We heard more 
f 2 



68 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



than you thought for — I and Miss Elizabeth — in the 
next room, eh ? — folding doors, with a wide opening. 
Walls have ears, and so have I ; and little pitchers have 
long ears ; eh ? long ears — sharp ears. Mum — mum. 
Good bye — good bye." 

So saying, the old man winked a watery eye, placed a 
shrivelled finger on the side of a peaked nose, and closed 
the door against me. 



CHAPTER VI. 

IN WHICH A SCENE TAKES PLACE TOO IMPORTANT TO EE LIGHTLY 
PASSED OVER. WITH LUDLOw's APPEARANCE IN A NEW CHA- 
RACTER. 

I dare say the reader, whoever he may be, will agree 
with me in the opinion that I followed a very foolish 
course, when, without ceremony or introduction, I in- 
truded myself into the presence of my mother, and impor- 
tunately and inopportunely claimed her blessing. But, 
let such reader reflect that I was profoundly ignorant of 
the art by which a mother's affections are to be come at — 
that I had no precedent whereby to direct myself — that, 
in short, my own feelings in the matter being factitious, 
suggested a line of action of a surprising and artificial 
character. Having reflected upon these points, he will 
then, perhaps, also agree with me, that the folly of my 
conduct was only to be determined by the result. 

It was a folly, however, that as soon as I recovered the 
free exercise of my faculties, I made a solemn vow (but 
there was little occasion for that) never to repeat. The 
rough treatment I had met with at the hands of her 
menials had shaken all the tenderness out of my nature ; 
and had Mrs. Brett ventured forth to her chair, which was 
waiting for her reception, while I lingered about the pre- 
mises, I am not sure that I should not have whispered — 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



69 



it may be, hallooed — a word or two into her ear, that might 
have savoured less of sentiment than of revenge. 

My rage must find vent somewhere ; it was directed to 
Ludlow, who had been the cause of my disgrace. To 
him, therefore, I made all speed. I found him at home, 
deeply engaged over his lady's accounts. 

" Well, Mr. Ludlow," said I, without needless preface, 
as I walked up to his table, £i here am I again — once 
more in Lady Mason's house." 

He looked up. " Good heavens I" he cried, ee what's 
the matter ? You appear discomposed — your dress disor- 
dered — your face flushed. Have you been fighting ?" 

" Yes," I replied, " with a fury, and have had a maul- 
ing for my pains. I have been to see Mrs. Bellamy." 

H Who's Mrs. Bellamy ?" inquired Ludlow innocently. 

c: Oh ! I thought you knew her — she has vast in- 
fluence here. She has been called Countess of Macclesfield ; 
afterwards, and for the second time, Mrs. Mason ; now Mrs. 
Brett; ever, my mother — my excellent mother, Ludlow." 

Ludlow sprang from his seat while I was saying this, 
overturning inkstand and account books. 

" Who told you that ?" gasping. " Gracious powers ! 
how came you to know — a — a — a — seen her, did you 
say ? how ? where ? what ?" 

u At her own house," I replied; u but why this ter- 
rible agitation }" for he fell back in his chair overpowered. 

" Not at all — agitated," he said, with a grim smile, or 
rather, grin. "Well?" 

H 1 went to crave her blessing - — told her who I was — 
said that " 

u You did ?" exclaimed Ludlow with a sort of scream ; 
" how came you to know ? — yes — well " 

<f She repulsed me with scorn and indignation — rang 
for her fellows " 

u Kicked you — trod upon you — tried to murder 
you — " Ludlow broke in, and he jumped out of his chair, 
shouting, " It's out — out — all out. Now, Heaven have 
mercy upon every one of us, it's all out." 

I thought he had gone distracted, and became alarmed. 
I seized him by the arm. 

f 3 



70 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



" But mind/' he continued, hastily, " I did not tell 
you this. You can swear not a word passed these lips 

— you must swear that. By all the angels and saints in 
heaven, I never breathed a syllable — never would have 
breathed a syllable " 

There was a terrific knocking at the street door, suc- 
ceeded by as violent a ringing of the bell. Up went Lud- 
low into the air. 

" God of heaven !" he said, clasping his hands, " her 
knock ! — she's come ; what shall I do ? — what shall 
I do V 

He rushed to the door of the room, which he opened, 
and pulling the key with inconceivable swiftness from the 
outside, thrust it into the lock and fastened us in. 

ec Hush ! hush !" he cried, listening at the door. 
" Where are you, Richard?'' And he extended his hand 
behind him, as though feeling for me. I advanced — he 
griped me by the arm. Keep with me, Dick," he whis- 
pered — ce do I tremble much ? — not much, I think. 
Hush!" 

The door was opened. A quick rustling of silks through 
the hall. 

ec Your mistress is in her own room ?" 
It was Mrs. Brett's voice ; we heard her ascend the stairs 
rapidly. 

" There'll be high words, presently/' said he, looking 
back ; " what if we get our hats, and make off — just for 
a walk, eh }" 

c( I'd not stir an inch for an empress/' I replied, 
<e I'm glad she's come." 

(c Are you ?" he rejoined. c< What a spirit you have ! 

— So am I glad ! — at least, I ought to be so. Whew ! 
they're at it." 

And so they were — rather, so was Mrs. Brett. Her 
voice was heard above, in what Ludlow called a H tower- 
ing" passion, and a rapid footstep overhead told us she 
was pacing the room vehemently. Presently a loud alarum 
of the bell. A servant obeyed the summons. We heard 
the door open. 

« Mr. Ludlow ! Mr. Ludlow !" 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



71 



The servant ran down in haste. 

" You are wanted immediately, Mr. Ludlow/' he said, 
knocking. 

I opened the door, while Ludlow staggered back into a 
chair. 

6C You're wanted, it seems," turning to him. 
" Coming, Nat ; coming," said he, jerking his head 
backwards. 

" Fetch up a good heart," said T, laying my hand upon 
his shoulder. u What ! afraid of an angry woman ? One 
would think you had once had a scold for a wife." 

Ludlow sprang upon his feet at this. He drew a long 
breath ; plucked at his cravat, and laid out the cuffs of 
his sleeve. 

" Go with me, Dick," he said ; (C stand by me. I shall 
want you." 

" I mean to do so," I replied, drawing him on ; iC a 
dutiful son — ever anxious to attend his mother." 

" That's right! — that's right!" returned Ludlow. 
" Here we go." 

How I got him up stairs I know not. He hung back 
sadly as we approached the landing. The door was partially 
open. I drew him forwards. 

" Will the man never come ? " said Mrs. Brett, as we 
were about to enter. u I am in haste to go, and must not 
be kept all night. This delay, madam, might suffice to 
assure you that the fellow is a false and cowardly knave — 
willing, indeed, to play the villain, but weak in the execu- 
tion of villany." 

On hearing this, regardless of Ludlow's objugatory and 
yet pitiful face, which, during Mrs. Brett's speech, he had 
directed towards me, I took him under the arms and fairly 
thrust him into the room. 

cc Oh, you are come at last ? " cried Mrs. Brett ; i€ now, 
my good man, step forward, and let us hear the notable 
story that brain of thine has fashioned." 

A painter should have seen the woman at that instant. 
She dazzled, almost daunted me. Lady Mason was dread- 
fully pale and agitated ; her clasped hands upon her knees, 
her glance eagerly bent upon Ludlow. Her daughter stood 
f 4 



72 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



by the side of her chair — her maiestic figure drawn up to 
its full height. Her arms were crossed over her bosom, 
her fan playfully smiting her chin. Such scorn upon the 
beautiful lip ! such indifference in the half-closed eyes ! 
On my soul, I could have loved her then. I was proud of 
my mother. 

" I must not hear my servant insulted/' said Lady 
Mason ; <c his story is true — no recently invented tale. 
It is not my fault, nor his, I dare to say it, that this se- 
cret has been discovered. Oh Anne ! you have overborne 
me with a high hand ; but it has come home to you at 
last." 

" See!" cried Mrs. Brett, not heeding her, " what a 
sneaking hound it looks, with its puppy by its side. Art 
dumb, dolt ? Open that frightful mouth, and speak thy 
speech, and make thy bow to thy mistress, and begone with 
thy creature." 

" I am no creature, madam," said I, firing. " Whatever 
baseness belongs to me I derive from you." 

^Ha!" she exclaimed, eyeing me with a pleasant 
smile ; " well-schooled, madam. This nephew will make 
his uncle's fortune before he gets his neck in a halter." 

" Speak out," said Lady Mason to the gasping Ludlow. 
* Tell this proud woman — convince her if you can, for I 
cannot, that she is mother of that boy." 

Ludlow opened his mouth, and committed himself to 
speech, with a voice so loud as to startle all of us, himself 
of the number. 

Ci Now ! " he cried, " as God made me — as he is at 
this moment my witness — as he will one day be my 
judge, that boy, Mrs. Brett, is yours." 

" Some human witness, good Mr. Ludlow ; some mor- 
tal witness, worthy Mr. Ludlow, if it be not too trouble- 
some a request," said Mrs. Brett. 

Ludlow cast a glance towards her. I w T as surprised to 
observe it was not one of fear. 

et Your ladyship/' he said, turning to his mistress; 
ce can testify that it was in obedience to your orders 1 de- 
livered the infant to the care of Mrs. Freeman. It is for 
your ladyship to tell her — her — " pointing to Mrs. Brett 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



" why you thought it necessary to impose upon her the 
belief that the child was dead. Why you bound me by 
an oath never to reveal to the child who were its parents." 

" True; all this is true/' cried Lady Mason. <c I will 
not tell you, Anne, why this imposition was practised/' 

se And why not ? " said her daughter, hastily, iC if there 
was an imposition. That there is" she added, " I need 
not that fellow's oath to the contrary to believe/' 

Ci Do you doubt me, too ? " cried Lady Mason, reproach- 
fully. 6C I say that I will tell you when we are alone." 

" Leave the room, you two/' said Mrs. Brett. 

tf Not now; I cannot tell you now." 

"Strange relations, here!" exclaimed Mrs. Brett, with 
a scornful laugh. c( I shall begin to doubt, madam, whe- 
ther you are my mother. Credulous woman ! " She seized 
Lady Mason by the shoulder. I thought she was going to 
shake her. " Credulous woman ! that can permit this ser- 
vant — this sorry rogue of yours, to overlay your easy 
brains with a figment borrowed — stolen from a grandam's 
book." 

" It is all truth, very truth ! " exclaimed Lady Mason, 
bursting into a passion of tears. " Leave me, I entreat. I 
cannot longer bear this." 

" It is all truth," repeated Ludlow. ee The orders of 
my mistress were exactly obeyed. Richard, I never told 
you this. No. Not even Mrs. Freeman, the woman who 
brought him up ; my sister, my own sister, not even she, 
knew the parents of the child." 

" Your sister ? " said Mrs. Brett ; " where is she ? Let 
her be produced. Something may be made of her, if you 
have quite done with her, my good man." 

<c She is dead, madam," said Ludlow. 

i( Her child, by heaven ! ' 9 exclaimed Mrs. Brett, quickly. 
(e Oh, madam ! do you not see through this ? But, no ; 
you are right ; you cannot bear these scenes. Retire, or I 
will. The story will keep till to-morrow. We shall then 
decide whether this wretched rogue is to continue to enjoy 
your concurrence to his base imposture." 

" No base imposture," said Ludlow. iC Look upon him, 
madam ; let the world see him, and decide whether he is 



74 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



not your son. His face bespeaks that he is. His spirit 
assures it. His spirit, madam, so like your own. Surely 
you will acknowledge him/' 
" Slave ! " cried Mrs. Brett. 

" I am sure you will," persisted Ludlow. " I know 
that you will love him. Oh, your ladyship," addressing 
his mistress, ei before your good daughter leaves you. pre- 
vail upon her to take to her arms a son so worthy of her." 

This speech from Ludlow ! I was astonished ; and 
turned to him for explanation. There was an expression 
in his face I had never seen before. He repeated his re- 
quest ; and then I detected a sneer beneath his words, and 
an insolent malice in his eye. 

" Lady Mason," said Mrs. Brett, stepping shortly up to 
her, C( your menial shall repent this indignity." 

ee Indignity !" cried Ludlow ; u I did not mean " 

" Mean ! " echoed Mrs. Brett. " Mean ! — Mean 
wretch ! I thought you had known me too well, years ago, 
to dare " 

" Oh, madam," interrupted Ludlow, " I knew you years 
ago, and know you now — too well, as you say." 

" Ludlow ! " cried Lady Mason, looking up, " you 
must not presume to insult my daughter." 

" Oh ! my lady, but he may," returned Mrs. Brett ; " he 
has your warrant for it. But not with impunity," she 
added, suddenly approaching Ludlow, and striking him a 
violent blow upon the face with her fan. 

Ludlow bore it without flinching ; nay, not merely that, 
but he projected his face as though courting a second 
salute of the same nature. 

" What is the meaning of this ? " cried Mrs. Brett, hu- 
mouring his conceit by bestowing upon him a second and 
a third blow with additional force, which he received in 
the same manner. 

After a time he spoke, calmly and quietly. 

" Madam, you remember Jane Barton ? " 

" Jane Barton ? " 

<f Afterwards my wife." 

" I do remember the creature," said Mrs. Brett. " Go 
on, sir. Well ! " 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



75 



« Well/' said Ludlow, " well ! " 

:( What does the fool mean ? " cried Mrs. Brett, looking 
around. u Nephew/' turning to me, " expound ; this, I 
suppose, is another of your joint performances." 

Ci I do not know what he means, madam," I replied ; 
" and I cannot expound mysteries." 

cc Madam," resumed Ludlow, " since you remember her, 
perhaps you have not forgotten Mr. Bennett — the gay, the 
handsome Mr. Bennett — your friend Mr. Bennett." 

ee I have not forgotten Mr. Bennett." 

" I say - well ' again, then," cried Ludlow. 

" Thank you, boy ! " exclaimed Mrs. Brett, turning to 
me, and patting my head ; "you are a very good boy : in- 
deed, a very good boy. You would not second this branch 
of the lie. Madam," to her mother, u I hope you now see 
the gross web this poor thing has woven out of his worsted 
brains. And so, because his wife was young, and vain, 
and giddy, and he had neither sense nor spirit to control 
her ; and because our friend Bennett (you know the whole 
story) was young and handsome — and fortunate," she 
added, with a provoking shake of the head at Ludlow, ' i has 
this fellow harboured a resentment against me, which he 
seeks to gratify by palming off his nephew upon me for my 
son. Begone, thou wretched animal ! Out of my path, 
thou base and spiritless worm ! " 

Ludlow met her as she advanced, and grinned in her 
face. " Worm, am I ? " he said. " How do you know I am 
a worm ? — how do you judge I am a worm ? How do you 
know a worm ? By its shape — by its size — by its crawl ? 
Ha ! ha ! you may be mistaken in your worm ; perhaps, I 
am an adder — an adder. They are alike — but one stings." 

" An adder be it, worthy Ludlow ; what reptile you 
please," and she turned from him with a contemptuous 
smile. " And for you," taking me by the chin, ( - what 
shall we call you f Lambert Simnel ? or shall it be Per- 
kin Warbeck ? M 

I flung from her indignantly. (i They, madam," said I, 
4< aspired to a crown : you know best whether I propose 
much honour to myself by claiming you for my mother." 
That stung her. Conceal it she could not. (( Nay, ma- 



76 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



dam," I continued, "you shall not do yourself the indig- 
nity of striking me." 

Her eyes spoke sufficiently plainly, but from her tongue 
not a word. She retired hastily from the room. 

During this scene Lady Mason had raised herself in her 
chair, and was gazing at us by turns in a state of the ex- 
tremes t perplexity and alarm. 

iC Good Heaven ! Mr. Ludlow ! " she said, when her 
daughter was gone, " what am I to think of all this ? 
This boy surely cannot be — come hither, Richard." She 
looked at me earnestly for some seconds, and then clasped 
me to her bosom. " Oh ! no, no, no, there can be no mis- 
take. He is, indeed, my daughter's son." 

" What shall I swear by that he is ? " said Ludlow ; 
" is there need to swear ? His face vouches for him. Oh, 
madam ! on my knees let me beg you to pardon me that I in- 
truded my own private wrongs into a cause so sacred as this 
— the establishment of Richard as the son pi Airs. Brett." 

" What wrongs ? " cried Lady Mason in surprise : " 1 
never heard that she had wronged you. What wrongs ? " 

"They have lain here so long — thirteen years and 
more," returned Ludlow, striking his breast, " that I know 
not how to heave them out of my heart. Forgive me, 
madam ; I will go below and recollect myself. You shall 
know all." 

" Stay ! " exclaimed Lady Mason ; u how came this 
boy to know the secret of his birth ? 99 

" I do not know/' returned Ludlow ; " not from me, I 
swear by all — " 

" Do not swear," interrupted Lady Mason. " If you 
have broken your former oath, what avails one now ? " 

"Let me swear that I am not forsworn. But — no. 
Richard will do me that justice. To the letter I have 
obeyed you." So saying, with a low bow to his mistress, 
and a glance at me, as though inquiring what I thought of 
all that had passed, he left us together. 

" There is something so strange in Mr. Ludlow's con- 
duct," said Lady Mason, " that I cannot at all understand 
it. Tell me," taking me by the hand, "and I know you 
will tell me truly, did he impart to you this secret, which 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



77 



he was sworn — you know the awful obligation of an oath 
— never to divulge ? " 

" Upon my honour, madam, he did not," I replied. 
" Not a word passed his lips." 

" How, then, did you discover it ? " 

" Madam," I said, " I will tell you all. It was only 
natural that, from the first, when I first made this matter 
a portion of my thoughts, I should have concluded that k 
was, in some way, connected with you. Mr. Burridge, 
my tutor, confirmed me in that belief. When I was 
brought from school to London by Mr. Ludlow, as we 
passed through St. James's Square, he casually pointed out 
the house of Lord Rivers " 

Lady Mason started, a slight flush arose upon her cheek. 
« Go on." 

" He told me it was the house of Lord Rivers, and that 
he was lately dead. I thought no more of that. It passed. 
You must remember, when I ran away from the shoe- 
maker, and obtained an interview with you, that we were 
interrupted by Mrs. Brett. I observed your agitation — it 
was no less apparent in Ludlow. He evaded my questions 
as well as you yourself could wish. He told me she was 
a Mrs. Bellamy, and she was not, in the most distant 
degree, related to you. That also passed, but not so 
quickly. Think, madam, when I obtained this clue, how 
easy to arrive at the truth." 

" But how did you obtain that clue ? " said Lady Mason, 
hastily. 

" I saw Mrs. Brett once again." 

" You saw her once again ? not here, surely ? " 

" Not here, madam ; and then I learned who she was, 
that she was Mrs. Brett ; — her whole sad history, shortly 
told. The very falsehood of Ludlow strengthened my 
conviction. Lord Rivers " 

iC But where — but where was this ? " cried Lady Mason, 
impatiently; " who furnished this clue?" 

" Mr. Myte; from him I learned it" 

" Mr. Myte ! " cried Lady Mason, in the greatest sur- 
prise. " By what means did you become acquainted with 
him." 



78 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



My surprise was equal to her own. "Do you not 
know, then, madam, that I am now, and have been for 
some weeks, living with that gentleman ?" 

" Gracious Heaven ! " exclaimed Lady Mason. " I 
thought you had returned to the shoemaker. Ludlow told 
me that he had prevailed upon you to do so.'' 

"And he told me/' said I, " that you had consented — 
nay, that you were delighted, that I should be placed with 
Mr. Myte ; and, moreover, that you had faithfully pro- 
mised that, within three months, I should be made ac- 
quainted with my birth." 

" Then you did not return to the shoemaker, even for 
a day ? " 

" Not for an hour, madam, and I am sorry you should 
entertain so despicable an opinion of me as to imagine 
that I would. Lady Mason," I continued, "you are not 
well, and have already been too much excited. I reserve, 
therefore, what I have to say, and what I have to hear, 
touching your joint management of a mystery, which, thus 
suddenly revealed, has at once found and lost me a mother. 
Tell me but this, now. Did you purpose that I should 
never know my parents ? " 

" I cannot tell you," said Lady Mason. " Leave me, 
my good boy — leave me, I entreat. Send Ludlow up to 
me. He has, indeed, obeyed me to the letter. You have 
discovered that which, perhaps, had better been for ever 
unknown. It is not your fault. It is your fate." 

I bowed distantly and withdrew. 

When I got home, Myte rallied me, as he had done on 
several previous evenings, on my singular gravity, telling 
his daughters to " go hang," for that I was the captive 
of Semiramis. When Ninus goes to ' Ninny's tomb/ 
said he, " behold his successor. A spinster's doom, Goth, 
is thine. Vandal thy portion is celibacy." 

Goth blushed exceedingly at this raillery, whilst Vandal, 
her father's darling, laughed in hearty concert with the old 
fellow. Mrs. Myte preserved a staid and uncommon for- 
mality of aspect, and shortly took occasion to beckon her 
elder daughter out of the room. Vandal quickly fol- 
lowed. Myte fell asleep, and at last I retired to bed, after 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 79 

having minutely examined every lineament of his droll 
countenance,, with an endeavour to ascertain how a sudden 
announcement of the discovery I had made would be likely 
to act upon it. I reserved a solution of that problem till 
the morrow. 



CHAPTER VII. 

IN WHICH MR. MYTE IS PRESENTED WITH A PARTICULAR OCCASION 
OF SURPRISE, WITH HIS BEHAVIOUR THEREUPON. 

Some business out of doors pertaining to Myte engaged me 
the next morning. On my return, I discovered my mas- 
ter squeezed into a corner of the office, earnestly intent 
upon the perusal of a letter, which he shifted from one 
hand to the other in rapid alternation ; his lips, at inter- 
vals, in motion ; his eyes at like times upraised, as though 
invoking a blessing upon himself, or a curse upon others. 
He did not see me for some minutes ; but when he did, he 
regarded me with a comical wildness of aspect. 

<e Ricardo," he said, ie be pleased to satisfy me as to 
whether I am standing on my head or my heels. My 
strong impression is that I am, at this present speaking, 
erect upon the former. If it should be so — carefully lay 
hold upon me by the ankles, and set me properly on end/' 

I expressed a hope that nothing had occurred seriously 
to discompose him. 

" There is a letter," he replied, tossing it into the air, 
" that would disturb the equanimity of Cadmus himself 
— words written with a flash of lightning, dipped in 
thunder, and yet as plain as a proclamation." 

" What is its import, sir?" I inquired. 

i( Import!" echoed Myte, <c it imports no good to you, 
I can assure you. Here, this is a letter," and he took it 
from the ground, and held it before him upside down, 
" from Mrs. Brett, who tells me that you burst abruptly 



80 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



into her room, last evenings head hindmost ; and that you 
attempted to frighten her with your tongue in your cheek, 
and to rob her with your hands in your pockets, and to 
murder her with the handle of an oyster-knife, and all 
that ; and, moreover, that you will be telling me a long 
story — (I hope it won't be very long) — to which I am 
not to listen, although I have a pair of ears ; and that Z 
am to kick you out of doors, which I won't do, although 
I have a couple of feet." 

" Really, sir," said I, " I do not precisely know what 
this means. That I did wait upon Mrs. Brett — " 

" That's what I want to know about," said Myte, kindly, 
taking me by the hands. " Come, what is it ? Why did 
you call upon the Assyrian queen ? She says, you burst 
into her apartment ; that you greatly alarmed her ; and 
that, had she not called her servants to her assistance, she 
knows not but you might have robbed or murdered her. 
This is her tale of the Bear and Fiddle ; now, let us see 
you make Bruin dance to a different tune." 

" She does not tell you, then, sir," I asked, u that I 
subsequently saw her at her mother's house, and that a 
long explanation ensued ? " 

" Not a word about that," answered Myte. " I hope 
you have not been killing and rifling the old lady ? " 

Upon this I told him all, as concisely and clearly as his 
frequent interruptions enabled me to do so — these con- 
sisting of ' Ohs ' — ( Ahs ' — ( Have at you there, my lady ! ' 
— c Stop there ! '— 6 Go on ! '— ' Hilloah ! '— ' Snip-snap ! ' 
and expansions and elongations of face out of number. 

" Well, now," he said, bustling about me when I had 
concluded, what do you mean to do ? what will you call 
yourself ? who are you ? what's your name ? " 

" Richard Savage — my father's name." 

" Savage ! " cried Myte, " a bad name that. Savage ! 
better fitted to fight than to melt a dragon with. I'll tell 
you what; you shall stay with me. You shall be my 
Friday — my Savage. You've read Robinson Crusoe? 
Daniel De Foe — I know him. You will be safe here. 
As for Woful, he must paddle his own canoe; — if he 
goes down we can't help it. Poor Jeremiah ! but his face 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



81 



will scare the sharks, that's one thing, and some friendly- 
dolphin will perhaps lend him a hack." 

I expressed my determination to stand by Ludlow to 
the last. 

My te shrugged his shoulders. " Well/' said he, "when 
a man's out of breath, a post is a serviceable thing to lean 
against ; but, the worst of it is, it won't help a man on 
his way. You are sure/' he added with a questioning eye 
and his finger in his ear, " you are sure, you are not Wo- 
fuf s nephew ? No — just her turn of face — with a dif- 
ference in the eye and the lip. I'll tell you what, Ricardo, 
Semiramis would think it a mere trifle to carbonado my 
little carcass — but she owes me money ; and, until she 
can close my hand, she dare not open her mouth. Besides, 
what care 1 for her, or, indeed, for any one ? This is 
not Turkey, where a fellow's head's off long before he 
knows why ; or his soul's shot out of his body with a 
bow-string long before he knows wherefore. Come up 
stairs, and let me discourse marvels to the feminine race. 
How their pretty ears will tingle ! — how their pretty 
peepers will blink! — how their pretty mouths will open, 
when I tell them whom we have got amongst us. Bolt 
the door, lest the thieves shouldn't be honest, or the honest 
men should turn rogues while we're absent ; " and he led 
the way up stairs. 

a Gather round me, good people ! " exclaimed Myte, 
rushing into the room, and not at the moment remarking 
that his elder daughter was absent, and that his wife and 
Vandal had retreated, on his entrance, to the other end of 
the apartment in seeming dismay — " gather round me, and 
let me communicate miraculous tidings. Savage, step 
forth," with a Betterton elevation of voice ; a self-styled 
imitation of whom he frequently presented. 

Mrs. Myte gave her daughter a jog with the elbow. 

" Go to him, my dear — go to him," she said, <e you 
can do any thing with him." 

Mistress Martha accordingly came forward slowly, and 
laying her head coaxingly upon her father's shoulder, and 
stooping her delicate little figure so as to assimilate to the 

G 



82 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



old man's stature, shook her head, and gazed bewitch- 
ingly in his face. 

et Go — go, you young wheedler," cried Myte, " I 
can't hear any thing now. It is for me to speak this tide, 
and for you to listen." 

" My dearest papa ! " said Margaret ; " only hear me 
for a moment. We are sure, when you know all " 

" Ha ! " cried Myte, " what's this ? " and he started 
back. (i How ? You got something to tell also ? Flus- 
terina, what are you going to cry about ? Howl ! howl ! 
howl ! howl ! as old Lear says. Where's Goth ? " 

So saying, he sprang round and encountered Mr. Lang- 
ley, who with extended hand came, just then, into the 
room. 

Ci Who sent for you, with that shocking long coun- 
tenance ? " exclaimed Myte. " That violin face portends 
a tune of dismal discord. Where's my Goth, I say ? if it 
should be as I suspect " 

ee Oh ! Mr. Myte ! " said his wife, " hear what the 
young gentleman has to say, before you condemn him." 

<f Well, young gentleman, what have you to say before 
I condemn you ? " said Myte. 6C Guilty, or not guilty, 
to an unknown indictment ? What is the indictment. 
Vandal ? What a vengeance ! Not a word ? You are 
clerk of the court." 

" My dear multum in parvo/' said Langley, " lend me 
your ear." 

" Both, answered Myte," when I have heard you. 
Only, mind you return them shortly; for I find them, at 
times, useful." 

Encouraged by this nonsense of the other, which be- 
tokened that, whatever he had to communicate, would not 
be very harshly received, Langley took heart. 

£i You must have long since seen, my dear sir, my pas- 
sion for your lovely daughter." 

<c Your passion for my daughter ! " echoed Myte. 
" Indeed, but that is one of the things that I had not 
long since, or even lately, seen. Have you, ladies, seen 
any thing of what Wildgoose calls his passion ? But 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



83 



-which of my lovely daughters do you mean ? Are they 
not both lovely ? Have you seen it, Ricardo ? " 
" I have/" said I, smiling. 

" Then, why had you not called to me, and let me 
have a sight ? I'll tell you what, Wildgoose, you must 
distribute your passion, as you term it, in small portions 
amongst the married men of your acquaintance, to be 
carried to their wives, by way of rarity." 

i( My passion/' urged Langley, "is not to be distri- 
buted ; nay, it cannot be diminished. Don't you re- 
member what Butler makes Hudibras say ? " 

" Why, he makes him say a great many more good 
things than you and I will ever say. Out with it. What 
is it?" 

i( To a similar requisition to that you so unreasonably 
made to me," said Langley, — 

" ' Quoth he, to bid me not to love 
Is to forbid my pulse to move, 
My beard to grow, my ears to prick up, 
Or, when I'm in a fit, to hickup.' 

That clinches tbe argument. Now what, my dear Mul- 
tum, have you to urge against me ? Here I am- — a man 
of good family — of great expectations — of " 

" Of figure not contemptible — of reputation so-so, as 
the world goes," said Myte. " I know all that. But tell 
me, young fellow, is not your father a baronet, and am I 
not a plain old fellow ? (Good Lord deliver us ! if he 
knew what my father was ! ) and will he not, should I 
encourage your passion, and send you to church to get 
married, come to me, saying with a high-bred face, and a 
voice like the click of a pistol — s Why did you counte- 
nance the match ? Why did you permit the match ? 
Why did you make the match ? Why hadn't you for- 
bidden the match ? And here I am at your service — 
your match ! ' Then will he take me to the back of Mon- 
tague House, and blow out these poor paltry old brains of 
mine, telling me to go and match them. Oh ! hang your 
match ! I shall be blown up with your match ! Thank'e, 
good Guy Fawkes — none of your matches for me." 

" To prevent that," said Langley, <f for we know the 
g 2 



84 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



delicacy of your scruples — and that the old gentleman 
shall not have so much to say, for which, if you knew 
the state of his lungs, you would commend my consider- 
ateness — - Mistress Martha and I have already contracted 
that match. Allow me to bring her to you to crave your 
blessing/' 

ce Married !" exclaimed Myte, "and no consent asked 
till it's too late to say ' No ; ' a father's highest privilege, 
and sometimes his greatest luxury — here goes ! 99 and he 
took to his heels, and ran out of the room. 

" Follow him, dear Martha," cried Mrs. Myte, alarmed, 
" he'll do something rash — I'm sure he will. I've heard 
the best do one rash thing in their lives." 

" Stay, my dear," said Langley, detaining Martha ; 
" there's no occasion to follow him, I assure you. It's 
all right, I can see that. Let him alone." 

Myte presently entered, bearing in his hand an un- 
sheathed rapier, not much longer than a skewer. 

" Look'e, Wildgoose," said he, " I did think of boring 
a hole through your body, but to turn my house into a 
lachrymatory would answer no good purpose. Besides, I'd as 
lief live with crocodiles, if they'd let me, as with howling- 
women. Dear me ! bring me thy w T ife ; and for the ba- 
ronet, if he doesn't like it, take her to him ; and if he 
doesn't love her when he has seen her, his eyes are no 
better than his heart, though they may be twice as large." 

With these words, he relinquished to my hands the 
sword, and having contentedly received a rapturous kiss 
from his wife, was led to a chair. 

Langley tripped out in haste, and brought in his 
bride. 

" Thou rascal ! " cried Myte, shaking his head at the 
blushing and trembling girl ; tc what dost thou expect ? " 

" Your blessing, sir/' said Langley, approaching with 
her ; and down upon their knees the two dropped midway 
between Myte and his wife. 

" And is that all \ou expect?" said Myte. "Curses 
and hard crusts ought not to go together, ought they, 
madam?" winking at his wife ; "and so, we will give 
her our blessing, if she will be satisfied with hard crusts. 



RICHARD SAVAGE, 



85 



Love goes a great way — a great way — especially from 
sorry fare. Vandal, you shall have all the money, and this 
headstrong girl shall have our blessing. Rise, and give 
me a kiss.'' 

" I dare say/' resumed Myte, when his wife and daugh- 
ter had somewhat recovered their composure — " I dare 
say, Wildgoose, you can find some young fellow to take 
this other girl off our hands. We are not mightily par- 
ticular, after you. We shan't turn away a lord, unless he 
happen to be very rich, indeed.'' 

C( Indeed, my dear papa, I mean never to marry," cried 
Vandal. 

" Ho ! ho ! is it so ? " exclaimed Myte, ec then I must 
keep a wary eye upon you. You are sure, madam," turn- 
ing to his wife, " there's no tall spark in any of the closets 
or cupboards ? If there be, let him come forth, and away 
with her. What, then, will you stay with us, and com- 
fort our old age, and be a good and obedient girl, and never 
think of the men-folk ? " 

" That I will/' said the girl heartily, cc only you must 
promise to love my sister as well as before." 

" So I will," replied Myte, u if that husband of he s 
will promise never to love her less." 

g€ No fear of that," said Langley ; (e it shall be the study 
of my life to make her happy." 

" You may carry off all the honours without studying 
very deeply that branch of science," cried Myte : " there 
are very few graduates in Hymen's university. But, 
what ! do you think we are going to furnish forth a mar- 
riage table for you ? Flusterina, have you made any pre- 
parations for a banquet ? '' 

" Mrs. Myte, at my desire, has not," said Langley : ce I 
wish you to see my new apartments. I think you will 
approve them. Every thing is in readiness for your re- 
ception." 

" Have with you, then," cried Myte. iC We will see you 
fairly on your journey." 

" And Freeman shall be of the party," cried Langley. 
I excused myself earnestly on the plea of particular 
g 3 



So 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



business with Ludlow, whom I had engaged to meet in the 
evening. 

" Ha ! there/' exclaimed Myte, " if I hadn't well nigh 
forgot all about Freeman. His name's not Freeman, but 
Savage. He is now, good people, Richard Savage, son of 
the late Earl Rivers and the present Mrs. Brett." 

And Myte, hereupon, entered into a detailed account of 
my history. 

The ladies, after their curiosity had been amply grati- 
fied, severally, and with great warmth, congratulated me 
on my good fortune. 

" Nay," said Myte, " Ricardo's coat-of-arms may be 
good enough, and I am not going to pick a hole in it ; but 
I don't know that we have much occasion to congratulate 
him. Here's Langley knows the lady well. What do 
you say ? Is he to laugh or cry — are we to be glad or 
sorry ? " 

" She will hardly be brought to acknowledge you, Dick," 
said Langley : u there is not a prouder woman in England 
than Mrs. Brett ; and, for my part, I think her mother and 
the steward have contrived — innocently, perhaps — to give 
a warrant for her hostility towards you, which, indeed, if 
all I have heard of her be true, she scarcely requires, but 
of which, I fear, she will avail herself. I know those, 
however, who have great interest with her, and they shall 
be moved in your behalf. The colonel, too, is not a bad 
man ; and if we could only get him to stir in the matter — 
for he is one of the most indolent and careless of men — 
I believe he could influence her, even to a good purpose." 

" He must be a moral Hercules who could do that," 
cried Myte, "and the colonel has no passion for laborious 
efforts. How that man got a reputation for the possession 
of good parts is a marvel to me, Wildgoose." 

" Nay," said Langley, u I believe he has abilities. 
Steele has a high opinion of him. It may truly be said of 
him that he has hidden his talent under a bushel." 

<c May it ? " returned Myte. " I believe it may truly 
be said he has hidden the bushel also, for nobody ever saw 
it ; unless you mean he has kept his talent in his head, 
which is as large as a bushel. His wisdom was not very 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



87 



manifest when he married his wife. Where are the 
womenkind ? " 

€i They are gone to dress," said Langley. ce Some 
thought the colonel a wise man in that instance, sir; 
consider her fortune — it was very considerable/' 

iC Consider the lady that went with it/' cried Myte. 

ec I believe he was very poor/' said Langley. 

" So poor/' returned Myte, " that Gibber lent him a 
clean shirt to propose marriage in. I would rather have 
married Gibber's washerwoman." 

" Let us suppose he was in love, Multum ; she was a 
very fine woman, and I believe the colonel thought her a 
vara avis." 

£i Many a man/' said Myte, " thinks he has secured a 
black swan, and finds afterwards that he has chosen a be- 
grimed goose." 

" Hang it, she is no goose neither," said Langley, laugh- 
ing. £< But, soft. We forget we are speaking of Dick's 
mother." 

Ci Gadso, that's true, cried Myte. " He'll be calling us 
to an account. Spare my grey hairs, Ricardo ; I'm old 
and garrulous ; and turn your wrath against him. But 
you must come with us. Woful has no claim or title to 
you ; and, on my word, had he been your worst enemy, he 
could not more effectively have injured you with Semi- 
ramis." 

"It is because I begin to suspect as much," I said, 
LC that I am above all things anxious that every part of 
this business should be cleared up. Besides, sir, I fear I 
should be but a dull guest at your happy board." 

(C Well, what say you, Wildgoose ? " said Myte. iC We 
must not have a death's head at our table ; and if Woful 
has been playing a false game, the sooner the cards are 
snatched out of his hand the better ; and so we must do 
without the lad." 

It was a relief to me to be spared from the intended 
festivities, to which Myte departed with all the eager 
alacrity of a child. In the evening I called upon Ludlow. 

I had hoped that, when I got home, Myte and his 
g 4 



88 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



family either would not have returned, or that they would 
have retired to bed. I was partly mistaken. 

" Ricardo ! " cried the voice of Myte from within, as I 
passed the closed door of the sitting-room, " come hither, 
thou mistletoe on the genealogical tree/' 

I opened the door, and entered. Myte was seated by 
himself, divested of shoes, cravat, and wig ; his knees un- 
buckled, his eyes in a haze ; a pleasant smile upon his 
mouth, and a hand upon his chin. He was fuddled. 

Finding that he did not speak, after a few moments I 
approached, and inquired whether I should assist him to 
bed. 

" I have been to good dinners," said he, at length : 
e< but never was I at such a dinner. I have drunk good 
wine ; but never such wine. I have met choice spirits ; 
but never such spirits. Ricardo/' he continued, rubbing 
his ear, cc I have heard Nicolini and Mrs. Tofts ; but they 
screeched — oh! bird of wisdom ! how they did screech, 
compared to the nightingales I have heard this night. 
6 Tootle-too/ cries the flute. 6 Have with you/ says the 
fiddle. 4 And me too/ goes the hautboy. Heads wagging, 
bows and courtesies, swan-sailing, ghost-gliding, ducking 
and diving, tiptoe-striding ; and all because Goth has mar- 
ried a baronet's son/' 

" Mr. Myte, are you coming to bed, this night ? 99 cried 
the voice of his spouse from above. " Mr. Freeman, be 
so good as to bring him up stairs/' 

" I come," said Myte, rising with some difficulty. 
u Savage is your name, not Freeman," turning to me. 
(e That name, though, is a good one to any body who 
wants a good name — and who does not? I'll have it, 
and marry again ; and leave Flusterina to the willow-trees. 
We have been talking of you, Ricardo, and to good pur- 
pose. Semiramis must succumb." 

" Permit me, dear sir, to help you up-stairs/' said I, for 
I heard Mrs. Myte fidgetting and fuming on the landing. 

C( Vandal will go soon," said he, with a wise look in my 
face. " The fellows sharpened their eyes upon her, as 
Job says. Poor Job ! He had a wife. Vandal will be 
taken from me, and then desolation to this household." 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



89 



Here he affected to whimper. " Never mind/' he added, 
" perhaps, in a few years we shall see little toodles wad- 
dling ahout this room, as grave as though they knew they 
were one day to be drawn out into men and women/' 

This contemplation was so pleasing, that he remained in 
it for a considerable time, heedless of Mrs. Myte's impor- 
tunities and of my endeavours to second them. 

u Blessed bawlers ! " he exclaimed at length, with a 
farewell wave of the hand, as though the creatures of his 
imagination had just waddled, or were then waddling 
through the opposite wall, and he turned out of the room. 
He favoured me with a frisk as I left him at his own door. 



CHAPTER VIIL 

RICHARD SAVAGE WAITS UPON A CERTAIN COLONEL. HIS RECEPTION, 
AND IN WHOSE PRESENCE. 

On the next morning, I sat me down, and addressed a 
long letter to Mrs. Brett, in which I related, in full, the 
history of my life — how I was brought up by Mrs. Free- 
man — how I was sent to school by Lady Mason — my 
withdrawal thence — my ten days' sojourn at the shoe- 
maker's — nothing was forgotten or omitted. In conclu- 
sion, I implored her, for her own sake as well as for mine, 
to acknowledge me without delay, and without reservation, 
too ; since I would not be satisfied (I told her so) with 
less than an entire, open, world-wide recognition of my 
claims. At the same time, I conceded thus much ; that 
if the maternal eye were likely to feel sore at my constant 
or occasional presence, an allowance, such as might befit 
my birth and rank, would at once satisfy me, and relieve 
her of my society. 

The letter was a strong one — a prudent man might, 
haply, say that it was too strong. 

Strong as my letter was, however, it was not strong 



90 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



enough to bring back an answer. Nor was a second or 
a third more successful. 1 heard, indeed, from Myte, that 
Mrs. Brett had issued a second command to him to get rid 
of me. She asserted, that I was an impudent impostor, 
set in motion by Ludlow, who was my uncle ; and she 
put it to Myte's discretion whether he would continue to 
harbour a young knave, an implied encouragement of 
whom would generate a suspicion that he favoured the 
fraud, and proposed to participate the expected profits 
from it. This insinuation stung Myte not a little. 

(C Wildgoose is zealous in your behalf," he said one 
day, " and has set some of his friends to sound Semiramis 
about you ; but who can fathom in a rough sea ? She 
will have it, you must pack. Now, I don't like that. 
What would you do, Ricardo ; you know? Jeremiah is 
no uncle of yours, it seems ; and has no reason to love you 
for your mother's sake ; and, as to her, when you obtain 
money from her, I shall expect the man in the moon to 
mint guineas, and fling them down to us, and shall look to 
see bat-fowlers abroad to catch them in cobwebs. I don't 
care this," he added, showing a little bit of his thumb, 
" for her talk about my taking a portion of the plunder. — 

' Truepenny was a worthy soul, 
He might have had half, but he wanted the whole.' 

If Truepenny got nothing, whose fault but Truepenny's ? 
Are you assured of Woful's honesty ? " 

" Perfectly," I replied ; " and so, I hope, sir, are you. 
To do Mrs. Brett a little charity, pray do not do him a 
great injustice." 

" Heigho ! " sighed Myte; "charity begins at home. 
She'll take the bread out of my mouth, that'll be the end 
of it ; and I shall be compelled to sell my woodcocks to 
buy a stick to trudge through the world with." (He 
called his collection of wretchedly-carved heads his wood- 
cocks.) 

This was said jestingly ; but I suspected there was a 
little seriousness at the bottom of it. However, I did not 
openly remark upon it at the time. 

I went to see Ludlow frequently. One evening, about 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



91 



three weeks after the grand discovery, I met him on the 
steps of Lady Mason's house. He was going, he said, to 
make a 'call in the neighbourhood. As we walked along he 
told me that Lady Mason remained very sullen, and that 
she appeared to brood over the recent event; that Mrs. 
Brett called upon her very often ; and that after these visits 
she grew more and more morose and taciturn. 

" Silence is a bad thing/' said Ludlow, " when it is 
long kept up. There is too much talking after it." 

"Has she given you any reason to believe that Mrs. 
Brett intends to recognise me ? " I inquired. (e Do yo\\ 
think I may expect her good offices ? " 

e( I don't know," replied Ludlow. ct She has said no- 
thing — which says too much. But you will have your 
own way. I tell you, nothing less than threats will serve^ 
threats put in execution. Have you yet decided upon 
applying to Colonel Brett ? " 

" I have ; and I will do so ? " 

u How does Myte behave ? Has he learned what the 
world calls prudence ? " 

" I see no material change," I replied; "perhaps, he is 
not so very friendly and familiar as before." 

" My mother used to say," remarked Ludlow, " porridge 
will cool of itself, if you give it time — it needs not cold 
breath." 

" Do not be too hasty to judge him," said I. " My 
mother's cunning might deceive " 

" A better and a worse man than Myte," cried Ludlow. 
n Good as he is, he would rather run up a hill after a fox, 
than down hill after a falling child. That is another old 
saying. I remember these things now." 

He halted at the door of a decent house. 

<c Will you wait for me a few minutes here ? " he said — 
ce I have something to tell you." 

He returned in a short time. 

" Do you think me a fool ? " he said. ie I have been 
doing a very extraordinary thing lately." 

" And pray what is that ? " I asked, smiling. 

ft You laugh, Dick," he replied, " as much as to say, 
c When do you other than foolish things ? ' You must 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



know/' he added, after a pause, cc that since all has been 
brought to light, my mind has been much troubled ; there 
has been a mixture of joy and pain ; and I am a weak 
fellow, and cannot bear either joy or pain*in excess. Well, 
finding the house uncomfortable — my lady not as she 
used to be — the servants wondering, and applying to me 
with their eyes for a satisfaction of their curiosity, I took 
to walking abroad of an evening. On one of these even- 
ings — let me speak out at once — on the second evening 
after the scene up-stairs — I saw her " 

(C Whom ? " said I, interrupting him. 

ee My wife," he replied, "Jane Barton — Jane — Ludlow. 
Richard," he resumed, pressing my arm, as if to forestall 
any expostulation I might design to offer, " no human eye 
ever beheld such an object. So worn — wasted — ema- 
ciated. Richard, she asked alms — charity ; she was starv- 
ing: I could see that she was starving. She will die," he 
said quickly. She will die — I know that — soon. I shall 
not — I cannot tell you what followed. Am I a stone ? I 
took this lodging for her — she is taken care of. She 
shall be, till — she dies. I have been to see her. Dick, 
if I could recall the past — if she were innocent, and you 
righted — I could die happy now — this moment: and she 
should close my eyes. Oh ! holy God ! thy wisdom is not 
our wisdom ; nor are thy ways our ways. Else, I could 
ask — but no. All will come round at last." 

When I could speak, I applauded his humanity. 

" You have had a doctor to her, 1 suppose ? " I inquired. 

<e I have," he said. (< The people of the house are 
good souls, and recommended their own doctor — a worthy 
man, they tell me. They have no hope of her. Gracious 
God ! what a life to have led ! Crime and its punishment 
— both together. Well; what now? — forgiveness, for- 
giveness: — Oh! let us be human — let us be human, 
Dick. Eh? what a precious thing man is, to take upon 
himself airs, and think to anticipate the Almighty, who 
may, perhaps (I trust so), judge reversely." 

" I cannot speak to this," said I; " your own feel- 
ings » 

" True," said he, cc you cannot speak to this. You are 
young ; and youth is, mostly, for virtue. But charity — 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



93 



forgive me, dear Richard, comes after time — after years 
and tears. And virtue ! I know not what it is, if it be 
not charity." 

(( You are moved/' I said, for his eyes were streaming. 
" You must not think too much of this. You have done 
well." 

(e I hope so/' he replied ; " and I am glad you approve 
what I have done." 

Having taken leave of my friend, I went straightways 
home, and indicted a letter to Colonel Brett. It contained 
a mild recapitulation of the points urged in my former 
epistles to my mother. The constitutional indolence as- 
cribed to the colonel by Langley was shaken off by him 
upon this occasion, for on the following morning I received 
an answer to this effect ; indeed, I think I may say, in 
these words : — 

ge I have heard of your insolence to Mrs. Brett, and of 
the shameful imposition you have been put upon attempt- 
ing to practise. You appear a clever boy, and I could 
wish to see your parts turned to worthier account. Be- 
ware, child, of Bridewell and the whipping-post, which 
inevitably await you, if you trouble me further. My 
servants have orders to take you before the justice if you 
are seen loitering about my house." 

Incensed as I was at the receipt of this brief missive, 
I was, nevertheless, sufficiently master of myself to deter- 
mine to abstain from the colonel's house. I was not pre- 
pared for justiciary proceedings at this stage of my suit. 
I hastened, therefore, to take counsel of Ludlow. 

Upon inquiring for him, the servant told me he was up- 
stairs with his lady, and that he did not know when I 
should be able to see him. 

ee I will wait/' said I, stepping into his room. 

ff Oh, sir!" said Nat, following me; "you are Mr. 
Ludlow's nephew, I believe. I fear there is sad work up- 
stairs." 

" Of what nature ? " I inquired.' 

cc Quarrelling, and I don't know what," said Nat. 
(i Mr. Ludlow has been down stairs once, and took up his 
books, all in a hurry. Oh ! here he conies again." 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



Ludlow entered wildly. " You here ? " he said — " what 
do you want ? I must leave you/' looking after something. 
" You shan't stay another minute in my house ! Ho! ho! 
It's come to this at last. Dick, I will see you in an hour 

— at Myte's. I shall then have plenty of leisure — plenty 
of leisure then, Dick." 

" One moment/' said I, detaining him, as he was hurrv- 
ing away — " look at this letter, and tell me what you think 
of it/' handing him the colonel's communication. 

" He read it hastily. " Like them all/' he cried; fold- 
ing it and returning it to me. " Keep that as a remem- 
brance — for love. He is one of the family, Richard 
Savage," elevating his voice, " and as one of the family 
he shall rue this insolence. Let me see ; I will contrive 
to talk with Lucas ; but I can't do it now. Don't you 
know I am wanted above ? Lord bless you ! I am a ser- 
vant^ and must obey. Go — in an hour at Myte's." 

" Can't you tell me where I should be likely to hit upon 
this colonel/' said I. " I want to see him." 

ee You do ? " cried Ludlow ; " brave dog ! nothing 
daunts you. Oh ! that spirit of yours will keep us all 
alive, till you frighten some of our souls out of our bodies 

— some — not mine. Where is he to be hit upon ? ay, 
at Button's coffee-house, in Covent Garden. You will find 
him there, I dare say. Be very soft, and humble, and 
respectful. He's a very high gentleman. I wish you 
were old enough to carry a sword — you'd use it, wouldn't 
you ? I must be gone." So saying, he snatched up a 
book of accounts, and hastened away. 

It was a practice with me, from my infancy, when any 
thing arduous or unpleasant was to be done, to do it at 
once. I confess, I felt my spirits a little ruffled when I 
reflected upon the probable result of an encounter with 
Colonel Brett. His letter was one of those performances 
which indicate an off-hand, cavalier practice in the disposal 
of business ; and the disparity of our years and station 
was such as to hold out small hope of success on my side, 
either as a peaceful negotiator, or as a hostile adversary. 
Notwithstanding, never having feared the face of man since 
I could look up to it without a crick in my neck, I put by 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



95 



every suggestion of weakness or timidity, and made all 
speed to Button's. 

" The colonel is here, for a wonder/' said the waiter, in 
answer to my inquiry ; " this is not his usual time. He is 
engaged with Mr. Steele at the further end of the room. 
Shall I take him your business, or your name ? " 

" My name is Savage/' said I ; " be pleased to inform 
the colonel I will await his leisure." 

I snatched the moment's opportunity afforded me, to ob- 
serve the gentleman to whom the waiter directed his steps, 
and who was Colonel Brett. He was a fine, tall, gallant 
figure of a man, very showily dressed. Indolently reclining 
in a chair, he was listening intently, looking through his 
spread fingers which were placed upon his forehead and 
temples, to his friend Steele, the celebrated Richard, 
shortly afterwards Sir Richard Steele. This personage was 
likewise gaudily dressed. He was inclining to corpulency 
— with the face of a farmer, the eye of a hawk, and the 
smile of an angel; and was talking with much animation, at 
intervals tossing one side of his black, full-bottomed periwig 
from his shoulder, and tapping the hilt of the colonel's 
sword with a point of his small three-cornered hat. 

The colonel started, and raised himself in his chair when 
the waiter delivered my message. He pondered for an in- 
stant, and waved his hand. " Let him wait," he said ; cf but, 
no," rising. — ee One moment, and I will be with you," 
nodding to Steele. 

By this time, I had advanced half-way up the room. 
The colonel approached, and, taking me by the shoulder, 
turned me round, and half leaning upon me, as he did so, 
pushed me forward into a recess of one of the windows. 

" Now, young man," said he, confronting me, " I must 
be short with you, I perceive. What brings you here ? I 
should have imagined that the billet I sent you would have 
• — what shall I say ? a — a — " 

u Frightened me ? " said I. " Oh, no, sir; I am not to 
be frightened by letters any more than yourself, or my 
mother." 

<( Your mother ! " cried the colonel, now for the first 
time looking at me. " What a prodigious front, child, thou 



Q6 RICHARD SAVA.GE. 

must — eh ? " The colonel looked a long while before he 
again spoke. " You are an impostor/' he said, at length, 
abruptly, " and your object, avowedly so, is to extort 
money." 

" I am sorry to be obliged to tell you that you are 
saying what is not the truth/' I returned. <c I am no im- 
postor — nor do I wish to extort money. I am very young, 
Colonel Brett, as you perceive; and I have no friend or 
protector. You must pardon me, therefore, for speaking 
that of myself, which I have no one to say for me. My 
mother knows that I am her son, and I intend that she shall 
not keep that knowledge to herself." 

ee Hah ! " cried the colonel. He raised his hand, as 
though about to seize me by the collar, while his eye wan- 
dered about in quest of the waiter. 

" Nay, sir," said I loudly, " I must not suffer any insult 
at your hands; I will not bear it." I believe that my colour 
rose as I added, " To a gentleman of your figure it may be 
hardly necessary to say that such conduct would better befit 
a blusterer than a man of honour." 

" Plague on't, child ! " exclaimed the colonel, u what 
wouldst have ? Dost want to fight me ? Where is thy 
sword ? Thou should'st get one." 

" So I was told half an hour ago," I replied ; " I find it 
may be necessary." 

Mr. Steele arose at this, and came towards us. " Why, 
colonel/' he said, "what young Hector have you got here? " 

"A myrmidon-mauler, indeed, as Frank used to say," 
replied the colonel ; " pardon me, I'm at your service in 
one minute," motioning to Steele to resume his seat. " Let 
us make an end of this," he said, turning to me. " You 
want money, it seems ; and have fallen upon these means 
of getting it. How much ? Let me know the extent of 
your impudence or your modesty." 

" What I want is best seen in my letters to my mother 
and to yourself. I hope you do not mean to give me room 
to suspect that the money is the chief difficulty ? Let me 
tell you, colonel, you may wilfully blind your eyes, but the 
eyes of the world shall be opened." 

66 That a young man of your years should talk thus — 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



97 



should dare to talk thus/' said the colonel, reddening, " is 
incredible — amazing. Why, thou young coxcomb, I tell 
thee thou hast not a leg to stand upon. Thy story is the 
most preposterous — the most extravagant — tbe most 

"It admits of proof, too," said I, cutting short his 
superlatives. " You wonder, you say, that I should talk 
to you as I do. Ascribe it to my resentment of the treat- 
ment I am receiving — not to my barefacedness as an im- 
postor, who could not speak thus. I refer you to Lady 
Mason ; she will vouch for me." 

" No," said the colonel, drumming his teeth with his 
fingers. 

" Yes — I beg your pardon." 

" I am told not. We will see to that, " he said, musing. 
"You went to school at St. Albans, I think your letter 
tells me." 

" I did, sir. I was sent there by Lady Mason." 
" So you said. Do you mean to repeat that Lady Mason 
sent you there ? " 

" I do — solemnly." 

The colonel reflected for many minutes. At last he 
said, with an oath, " The sphynx was a young beginner at 
the making of riddles : confound me if I can make this 
out — nor could she, either. Your master's name ? " 

" Burridge," said I. 

" Burrage or Burring ? " he inquired. I satisfied him 
upon that point. 

" I will write to him ; but no. Could you get him to 
certify that he was paid by Lady Mason ? " 

" I can ; and willingly he'll furnish it." 

" Very well. Still I would rather see him. Burridge ? 
no, it can't be." 

" I will beg of him to come to town and wait upon 
you." 

" Do," he said quickly — "I shall be glad to see him. 
Our business is ended for the present, I think. You know 
where to find me ? " 

" Colonel, your servant. Good morning." 

" You're an insolent young dog," said the colonel with 
a good-humoured smile. " Give me thy young fist." 

H 



98 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



He gazed at me earnestly, as he shook my hand, and 
turned away. " Good-by, child," then between his teeth, 
" his mother's son, or the devil's." 

Overjoyed at the lucky train in which I had, as I 
imagined, succeeded in placing matters, I made the best of 
my way to Myte's house. 

I found the little man seated in the office, rubbing his 
legs up and down with his hands. 

iC Well," said he, " you're come at last. Whose busi- 
ness have you been upon, mine or yours ? I would not for 
all the world, the sun, and moon, and all the stars in the 
firmament into the bargain, that your business should halt, 
while mine runs on all-fours." 

I expressed a hope that he had not wanted me during 
my absence. 

" Wanted you ! " he replied, scratching his cheek, " not 
wanted you, exactly ; but wondered where you could be 
got ; thought you might have exhaled, like a bottle of 
smoke. Here has been Woful, that uncle of yours — but 
I suppose I must not call him so now ; he has been want- 
ing you. He dashed into the office a few minutes ago, and 
6 Where's Richard ? ' says he — ' Is Richard in ? ' with a 
stare. e Where's Richard ? ' says I, ' Richard's out,' with 
a stare just like it. Upon that, he turned round and trot- 
ted out like a dog that has gone up a wrong alley. But, 
where have you been, if I may presume to inquire ? " 

66 I have just waited upon Colonel Brett," said I. 

u You have ? " cried Myte, getting up and minutely in- 
specting me. " You say, you have called upon Ninus, and 
still got these upon your head ; " and he took me by the 
ear. " How comes that to pass ? " 

" I don't know what you mean," I said, laughing. 

" I mean, I thought he would have cropped them," 
answered Myte. " I once saw a man put his head into 
the lion's mouth in May Fair, and when somebody asked 
him how it was the lion didn't bite it off, he said, r he 
supposed the lion had got the toothache.' Some such 
lucky accident has saved you this once." 

" No, indeed," I replied, and related to him all that 
had passed. 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



99 



" Why, this is a wondrous mystery/' cried Myte, who 
had listened to my recital with a great deal more astonish- 
ment than I was prepared to expect ; " this beats Steele's 
salmon in satin petticoats in the Tatler. Then you really 
think, Ricardo, you shall be able to make them acknow- 
ledge you ? " 

" I do/' said I ; (C why should you doubt it ? " 

He was silent for a few moments. " Semiramis so 
positively swears you are not her son. Nay, I have it from 
my own son-in-law, Langley. Could I be assured you 
were her child " 

" What would you do then, sir ? " I inquired somewhat 
coldly. 

" I like you," said he, " and you should stay with me, 
in spite of all." 

" Nay, if you doubt " I began in some heat. 

" Softly, softly," said he, " don't let us begin a duel 
with tongues, or down upon my marrow-dones drop I, 
and beg for mercy. I mean nothing but good- will towards 
you — seriously, Richard Savage, which I hope, and trust, 
and believe is your name. Come, let us shake hands." 

At this moment in walked Ludlow. Ci I have been 
taking a turn," he said, " finding you had not returned. 
Well, what says the great man ? " 

I told him. 

" Come, that's better," he replied, u if any thing can be 
better where all is so bad. Mr. Myte," turning to him, 
" would you believe it ? " 

" What's ( it ? ' " cried Myte. " None of your pronouns. 
I can believe it, and that, and this, and t'other — any thing. 
After my belief of Richard's relationship to Mrs. Brett/' 
("he doesen'tknow what Semiramis means," with a wink at 
me,) " and after my belief in the existence of so unnatural a 
mother, I have a stomach for any thing. What story of a 
flying fish have you got for me now ? If you don't make 
its wings too large, it won't stick in my throat, I promise 
you." 

u You are very facetious," said Ludlow; " but merriment 
sounds like mockery to a sad heart. After five-and-twenty 



100 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



years' honest, faithful, and diligent service, my Lady Mason 
has been pleased to dismiss me. I think she has acted 
wrong, because " 

" God bless my soul ! " cried Myte, " I really am much 
concerned," and he looked so. "I hope not on our young 
friend's account ? " 

« Why do you hope so ? " said Ludlow — <c the reason, or 
the pretext is of small importance, so long as my character 
is not brought in question." 

ec Which it cannot be," said Myte. 

C( Which it cannot be," echoed Ludlow : " I say, I 
think she has acted wrong, because she had no right to ex- 
pect I should remain silent. She has taken her daughter's 
side against Richard, and does injustice by permitting it. 
Yes, she has," turning to me, ec nor will she consent to see 
you more." 

c: I care not to see her," said I, " nor do I regard her 
adherence to my mother. She needs no assistance ; but we 
want Lady Mason, and when we require we can demand 
her." 

" Can't we ? " cried Ludlow, with some appearance of 
glee. ee She cannot deny " 

ee That I am the son of Earl Rivers," said I. 

" That she committed you, through me, to the care of 
Mrs. Freeman," pursued Ludlow. 

" That she herself sent me to school, and paid Mr. 
Burridge out of her own pocket/' I added. 

<<r That she ordered me to take you away from thence, 
and then compelled me to bind you to the cob 99 

tc Enough," said I, hastily, in dread of the coming re- 
ference to the cobbler. 

" Yes, enough, of all conscience," said Myte. " I can't 
look two ways at once. I hate this see-saw talk. It moves 
the head a great deal more than the curiosity." 

" We always feared the inhumanity of his mother ; that 
was the cause of our giving out that he was dead," said 
Ludlow. 

£( I know all that," answered Myte; <<r but why did we 
always fear it ? Because your mistress was foolish and 
weak, why were you weak and foolish ? " 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



101 



€i I thought her so at first, I confess/' said Ludlow ; 
« but " 

" You didn't afterwards ? He can't see his own weak- 
ness/' said Myte, turning to me. " Woful, when a man 
eats a cursed onion, you may nose him afar off, and he 
smells most odiously ; eat a cursed onion yourself, and you 
cannot smell him at all. Your combined folly has destroyed 
this lad's prospects ; and, hang it ! let us say this for 
Semiramis — she has no reason to curtsey to the compliment 
you have paid her." 

" I pay her a compliment ! " said Ludlow. ce But you 
are speaking in your way. I tell you, sir, the boy would 
have been murdered by her, if we had not taken him out 
of her reach, and concealed the fact of his continued ex- 
istence." 

' 6 And that she has been told — eh?" exclaimed Myte. 
" A very pretty compliment when you return a full-grown 
fellow to his mother, who thought him dead, and wished 
him so. 6 Madam, here he is ; make much of him : his 
weasand has out-grown your fingers.' Ho, ho ! " and 
Myte laughed with exceeding Satisfaction. 

u Don't you see," said Ludlow, with some asperity, 
when Myte had left us, " how that man's foolish habit of 
jesting perverts his understanding, and corrupts his heart ? 
There is he gone, I warrant, to his family, to make light 
of our distresses." 

<c You are mistaken in him," said I ; " come, make 
allowance for the gaiety of his temperament, and remember 
the solemnity of your own." 

" Well — no matter," he replied; " let us banish him 
from our thoughts. This strange proceeding on the part 
of Lady Mason " 

Ci Ay, what do you think of doing ? " 

" I don't know," he answered ; " I have taken a lodging 
for the present." 

" Where ? " 

He remained silent, and was slightly disconcerted. 
c< The people of the house where my wife is," he said, at 
length, (e are reputable, and had apartments to spare, and — 
h 3 



102 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



I have taken them. You don't think that right/' he added, 
after a pause. 

" Nay, you are the best judge of your own conduct. Do 
you intend that she shall live with you again ? " 

" No," he said, resolutely, " I do not ; or, if I did, fate 
has prevented that. I have told you she is dying. But, 
now, what are we to do with that wolfish woman ? " 

" My mother ? You must not call her so. Why, 
Ludlow, we must make a lamb of her." 

" Ah ! " said he, " would that I could see that change ! 
I could forgive every thing, now, if she could be brought to 
do you justice. The colonel may, perhaps, do something. 
Fear might make her." 

I shook my head. 

Ci Fear — of shame, I mean," he resumed. She knows 
no other fear. I will manage Lady Mason. I am strong 
enough for that. She is too old to begin to be wicked." 

He applauded my resolution of writing instantly to 
Burridge. 

(C He is the man of all others," he said, " to engage in 
this matter, if he will but move in it. Your mother would 
tremble under that glorious eye of his, I am sure of it. I 
should like to see the first meeting between them." 

He pressed a considerable sum of money upon me. 

cc Bless you," he cried, " 1 don't want it. I have more 
than I shall know what to do with, if I keep it to myself ; 
and when you have an independence, you may repay me, 
if you like. Besides, Myte will treat you better while you 
stay with him, if he sees that it is of no importance to you 
whether you stay or no. It is the way of this delightful 
world." 

When he was gone, I sat down and wrote a letter to Bur- 
ridge, in which I conjured him to forward without delay the 
required certificate, or, if it were in his power, to come up 
to town, and make himself the present means of establishing 
my claims. To Lady Mason I disdained to apply. Her 
conduct had been so ambiguous, that, whilst I dreaded her 
hostility, I meditated her exposure. It was clear that she 
was under the fear and direction of her daughter ; it was 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



103 



not so certain that, if I molested her, I should not convert 
an instrument into a party against me. 

Burridge returned no reply. I was thunder-struck at 
this. Could he, also, have been bought or begged off? I 
scorned the supposition the instant it entered my mind ; 
but, after the lapse of a week, a second letter having been 
equally unsuccessful, I was constrained to yield admittance to 
the unworthy stranger, and devoted the world and its con- 
tents, from Burridge downwards and upwards, to perdition. 

In the mean while, Myte, day by day, became more and 
more stad and serious — as wise and worshipful as any 
other of the dull dogs of mankind, who are, at all events, 
wise enough to know, that the gift of speech, unless con- 
fined to monosyllables, is not calculated to enhance their 
reputation for wisdom. This behaviour on the part of 
Myte was 50 far from incensing me, that I was amused by 
it. The consciousness of being ill-treated imparts a sort 
of satisfaction to the sufferer, derived, I imagine, from the 
contemplation of one's own worth, as opposed to the folly, 
meanness, or malignity, as the case may be, of the wrong- 
doer. I suffered him, therefore, to pursue his humour, 
without expostulation or complaint, and consigned my best 
powers of conversation wholly to Mrs. Myte, and little 
Martha, with both of whom I had succeeded in making 
myself a favourite, and who were not to be deterred by 
Myte (I know not that he did attempt to influence them) 
from behaving themselves towards me with their former 
affability and kindness. 

One evening I called upon Ludlow, to relate the failure 
of my application to Burridge. He came down to me in 
the passage, and heard all I had to say in silence. 

i( Nevertheless," he said, rubbing his chin, " we shall 
be too much for them at last. Lady Mason is obdurate 
still — never mind. She has discarded me, but she can- 
not get rid of her conscience — she cannot make that her 
servant, and turn it away at pleasure. Or, if she can 
and should do," shaking his head wisely — iC all out. We 
will loosen Burridge's tongue, and tie up their tongues for 
ever. Come up stairs and sit with me, I am alone. If 
you should see a certain person during the evening," he 
h 4 



104 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



added, halting upon the stairs, " I hope you will not 
make her perceive that you have heard all, and that you 
scorn and despise her." 

" My dear Ludlow/' I replied, in a whisper, " how can 
you suppose that I should hreathe a syllable M 

■ 6 It is not breath/' he returned, " the eye speaks more 
than the tongue sometimes. I know, Dick, she ought to 
be hated — abhorred — scorned ! but I cannot do it myself, 
and I could not," he pressed my hand, 6e bear to see any 
thing like it from others ; least of all from you." 

He was greatly disturbed during the evening, getting up, 
sitting down, handling the things upon the table, and 
frequently leaving the room. At length the door of an 
inner apartment opened, and an emaciated being entered, 
with faltering steps, and was directed by Ludlov's eye, to 
an arm chair. 

ee Do you feel better, do you think ? " said Ludlow, 
after a long pause, his nether lip quivering. 

Ci I thank you — I think I am worse," replied his wife 
in a tone so piteous — so self-abased, as to bring tears 
into my eyes. Ludlow averted his head, and presently 
left the room. 

Whatever share of beauty Mrs. Ludlow might once 
have possessed had entirely left her. Not even the traces 
of it remained. There was a meanness of expression in the 
face — I remember it well — which made me feel doubt- 
ful at the time whether she could ever have been hand- 
some. 

As Ludlow did not return, I thought it only proper to 
venture upon a few general remarks, such as obtain with 
our thoughtful and speech-saving countrymen, and which 
are made up of comments upon the weather tha: was, ob- 
servations upon the weather that is, and prognostications 
of the weather that will be. These ended, I had nothing 
further to say. 

" And you are the son of my old mistress," she said, at 
length — " Mr. Ludlow tells me you are the son of Mrs. 
Brett. What wonderful things do happen/ 3 

I silently assented. She was a living witness to the 
truth of that. 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



105 



" You are a great favourite with Mr. Ludlow, sir," 
she resumed. " He is a good man ; the best of men." A 
sigh followed. 

" He is, indeed, a good man," I said. 

" Oh ! he is, sir. After what has happened too ; after 
what I have been to him — I am sure/' she raised her 
handkerchief as she spoke, and sobbed, " all that I could 
do in after years, if it pleased Heaven to spare my life, 
could not " 

I was glad that Ludlow entered at the moment. I 
began to feel rather sick, and shortly after took my leave. 
As I walked home, how came that delectable wight, 
Joseph Carnaby, to rise up before my mind's eye, in the 
plenitude of his peculiar power ? 

The next day, a very mournful-looking person waited 
upon me, representing that he was Mr. Greaves, at whose 
house Ludlow lodged, and bearing a message from him to 
the effect that he wished me to come to him immediately. 

I inquired the occasion of so sudden a summons. 

" Oh, sir ! " he replied, "the worthy gentleman's wife 
is, we fear, dying. Mrs. Greaves is certain she cannot last 
many hours, and her husband is in a terrible taking, to be 
sure. He has not yet been in to see her, but waits till 
you come." 

I snatched my hat, and accompanied Mr. Greaves. 

On entering Ludlow's room, I found him in a state of 
the greatest distress, pacing to and fro, and flinging up his 
hands distractedly. ee All over — dying," he exclaimed, as 
I drew near — (( what am I to do ? what am I to do ? I 
look up to you now, Dick — tell me." 

" Collect yourself," said I, " this is no sudden thing — 
you have been expecting it." 

" Oh no ! " he replied, shaking his head with a shudder. 

ee Oh yes ! " cried a little doleful woman, coming for- 
ward. " Me and Mr. Greaves has, I'm sure, and so we've 
told you. Come, sit ee down, that's a good man, and be 
quiet. You can't do her no good, and so don't go to do 
yourself no harm." 

Ludlow, after bestowing upon this contemner of gram- 



106 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



matical propriety an unmeaning stare, waved her from 
him, and sank into a seat. 

Mrs. Greaves now directed her attention to me. " Oh ! 
you're the young gentleman as the poor woman wished to 
see, are you ? Well, I'll prepare her to see you ; she can't 
speak, I'm afraid, by this time." 

She beckoned me into the passage. " Lord love you ! " 
she said in a loud whisper, " she can't last out the night. 
I hope you're not a near relation, for I shouldn't like to 
hurt your feelings ; but the truth must be told ; she's 
going very fast." 

Here Mr. Greaves, who had been waiting in the passage, 
upcast a pair of large dismal eyes, till the whites were 
alone visible. " Is she worse," he inquired, recovering 
his vision, " than Mrs. Wokey the night before " 

" She died ? " cried his wife, anticipating the termi- 
nation of the sentence. " Greaves, Mrs. Wokey was no- 
thing like her. Why, you know, we didn't think that 
would be so soon." 

Mr. Greaves pointed to an indentation in the wall, 
ce Made by the coffin," he remarked, raising his brows. 

" So it was," assented the wife. " But come this way, 
young man. Mr. Greaves, don't you go out till I come 
down," and she led the way to the apartment of Mrs. 
Ludlow. 

She was, indeed, greatly changed, and for the worse. 
Unused to the varying appearances of sickness, I could 
scarcely have imagined that so perceptible an alteration 
could have taken place in so short a time as the period of 
a few hours since I had last seen her. 

She motioned me to a chair by the bed-side, and made 
a sign to Mrs. Greaves to leave the room. The woman 
did so, slowly and with apparent reluctance, softly closing 
the door. When the door was closed, I was as perfectly 
assured that she was listening, as though I had seen her 
ear through the keyhole. " I hope, sir," began Mrs. 
Ludlow, in a faint voice — in a voice so faint, indeed, that 
Mrs. Greaves must have been, during our colloquy, in an 
ecstasy of tormentingly unsatisfied curiosity ; " I hope, sir, 
you will not think I have been too free in sending for you ; 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



107 



but I think — I really think, now — that I am dying. 
Mr. Ludlow will do any thing you bid him — I know he 
will. Oh, sir ! intercede for me with him — for his for- 
giveness." Here she was much affected, and could not 
proceed for some minutes. 

" I feel at last/' she resumed ; " do not withdraw your 
hand, Mr. Savage, if I presume to take it — at last I 
feel — how fully, how deeply I cannot tell you, that there 
is no hope for my poor sinful soul in the other world, if I 
do not obtain his pardon. He was ever too good to me — 
oh, sir ! " She looked imploringly at me. " Do help to 
save my soul ! " 

I was touched, and involuntarily returned the pressure 
of her hand. " Do not say another word," I exclaimed, 
rising, " I will go to him this instant. There was a pro- 
vidence, madam, in your unexpected meeting, and it must 
be fulfilled/' She gave me a look of gratitude, and I left 
her. 

I related to Ludlow what had passed between us. 

ee She thought it necessary there should be a mediator ? " 
he said, and his face brightened up, but was again over- 
cast. " Oh no ! but I am glad she chose you. Richard, 
not a word of forgiveness has passed these lips ; I am too 
much of a man for that ; but now that she is dying " 

" You will forgive all her faults," I said, taking him 
by the arm. 

u The dying have no faults — except to Heaven ! " he 
exclaimed : " oh ! my dear fellow, live, and you will 
know that, when those you love are taken from you. You 
don't know, he added in a familiar tone, " how I loved 
that girl." 

" Yes, yes, I do," I replied — " come, you will see her 
now, will you not ? " 

u There was that Bennett," he said, halting at the door, 
" if ever I were to go mad, that dead wretch — dead as 
he is — would make me so — he loved her. No — no — 
I won't think of that. The wretched creature, Dick — 
the frightful face — the abject — mean — base — oh 
God ! " and he took me by the shoulders, " am I human ? 



108 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



Am I a man ? Do I want more vengeance ? It is here" 
striking his bosom. " Let no one say revenge is sweet." 

iC We lose it at the moment we detect," 

poor Ludlow would, perhaps, have added, had Pope 
written the line then, and had Ludlow read it. I led him 
up stairs. He trembled violently, as he approached the 
bed on which his wife lay. He was silent, expecting her 
to speak. She appealed to me with her eyes. 
" One word, Ludlow — it may be the last." 

" Do not leave the room," he said, turning to me, 4 6 you 
shall see that I am not ashamed." 

He dropped upon his knees by the bedside. 

" Jane," he uttered, " I forgive you; but that is no- 
thing. It is God who forgives — I pray for you. I 
hope what I say makes you happy — 1 hope you are 
happy." 

She wept abundantly. His frame was shaken by emotion. 

" What can I do ? " he said, rising — " can I say 
more ? — from my heart I cannot. 

" Could I talk cant to her," he proceeded, drawing me 
to the other end of the room, and wringing my hands — 
" vile, horrid cant, and tell her how happy we might have 
been — how miserable we are — all that makes a death- 
bed agony — it would kill her. Stay : let me go to her. 
Jane " — and he took her hand and kissed it — " I for- 
give you — oh ! I forgive you. I would kiss your lips, 
my poor, poor girl — but " 

" I cannot," coming to me — " all that I can do or say 
would torture her. Would it not ? See, I have killed 
her." 

Mrs. Ludlow had fainted. I rang the bell vehemently. 
Mrs. Greaves entered on the instant. I dragged my friend 
from the room, as the woman exclaimed, " She is dead." 

Mrs. Greaves came down to us after a short time. " She 
has revived," she said, " but I don't know " 

I motioned her to be silent. " The doctor is here," 
she continued, " and what can be done, will be done ; but, 
after all " 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



109 



" There is no certainty in this life," said Mr. Greaves, 
who had entered unperceived. 

Ludlow insisted upon my staying with him all night, 
and Greaves was despatched to Myte with the intelligence. 

I had neither time nor disposition, on that evening, to 
scan the meaning of Myte's reply, which the solemn land- 
lord, I doubt not, delivered with exemplary correctness, 
and which was in these words, " Tell him he may stay as 
long as he pleases, and please himself as long as he stays." 

Mrs. Ludlow outlived that night, and fluctuated during 
three or four days, when, much to the surprise of us all, 
and by no means the least so to Mr. and Mrs. Greaves, 
the doctor declared her out of danger. 

Upon this, I prevailed upon Ludlow, whose faculties 
during the interval of suspense had been almost prostrated, 
to let me go to Myte, if only for a few hours. By this 
time, a letter might be lying for me from Burridge. I 
could not altogether relinquish that hope. 

" Mr. Savage," said Mrs. Greaves, intercepting me in the 
passage, as I was going out, " a strange man has been in- 
quiring whether you live here, and he wanted to take 
Greaves to the tavern, who can go there very well without 
his assistance, 1 can tell you. I expect he'll be brought 
home a corpse one of these nights." 

" From Mr. Myte, I dare say," I said. A thought came 
across me that it might be Burridge. I questioned the 
woman, but her description, (accustomed as we all are to 
accommodate the making out of another to our own wish) 
in no respect tallied with my original. 

I was puzzled ; but thought no more of it at the moment. 

" And so poor Mrs. Ludlow is better," said Mrs. Greaves. 

" Very much," I replied ; 6C she will do now." 

u Picking up, greatly ?" said Mrs. Greaves. 

" Oh yes — an excellent appetite." 

She drew near to me, and with a sagacious shake of the 
head, and her forefinger in action - — (i The very worst sign 
in the world. Poor man ! I pity him. You will see — 
she will go off in her chair one of these days — after a 
hearty meal." 



110 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



CHAPTER IX. 

IN WHICH RICHARD SAVAGE IS MADE THE PRINCIPAL IN AN UN- 
LOOKED FOR ADVENTURE, AND FINDS CERTAIN NEW AND SER- 
VICEABLE FRIENDS. 

Mr. Langley came out of Myte's door as I was about to 
enter it. Upon perceiving me, he hesitated ; then removing 
his hat, and making me a cold and ceremonious bow, he 
glided past me. I was half tempted to run after him, and 
inquire the reason of this conduct; but, concluding that 
whatever the cause might be, I should be able to collect it 
from his father-in-law, I walked into the office. 

Hearing my footstep, Myte, who was seated at his desk, 
raised bis head, and with eyes and the feather end of his 
pen directed towards me, continued to gaze upon me for 
some time. 

" What Levant wind blew you hither ? " he said, at last ; 
" or have you come to ask me to bail you to the sessions ? 
for, I suppose you were either compelled to come, or have 
a favour to beg." 

" Neither," I replied, smiling, for I supposed him to be 
in jest. " Ludlow is now better, and can spare me, and so 
I have returned." 

" And so you've returned — ugh ! " cried Myte, with a 
sort of grunt: "have you brought any news with you?" 

ce None, in particular." 

"Not time yet to fire 'em off?" suggested Myte; 
" Mendez Pinto got 'em ready more easily." 

" What do you mean ? " said I, in doubt whether I ought 
to laugh or to take offence. 

" Pinto was one of those men that never let down the 
bucket to help Truth out of her well," answered Myte. 

"What of that?" I exclaimed, in perplexity. 

" Isn't Ludlow a little like Pinto ? and are not you his 
apprentice ? " 

£e Mr. Myte ! " I exclaimed, in indignant astonishment, 
" this language " 

" Has only truth to recommend it," cried Myte, rising, 
" and therefore will carry little weight with you. Go away, 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



Ill 



young man — go away ; and let me never see your face 
again. A fellow of your parts — Lord bless my soul ! that 
might tear the bandage from Fortune's eyes, and make her 
smile at you for doing so — that might invent a wheel of 
your own with cogs in it, to turn hers at pleasure — cogs? 

— cogs — oh, d it ! " (the only oath I ever heard 

from Myte's lips) " I think there has been a great deal too 
much cogging already between you. Ricardo — Richard 
Freeman — I blush for you." 

" Do you ? " I replied : " I wish I could see your mean- 
ing ; that and your blushes are alike hidden at present." 

" None of your jeers," cried Myte, in a rage, colouring 
in downright earnest. " You'll put me in a passion, and 
I'm — I don't know what, when Fm once roused. I can 
say hard things — but I won't. You want my meaning, 
do you ? Take it, then. Woful — (what the deuce !) 
Ludlow and you have been concocting a plot — that we 
have discovered — I always thought it a strange story — 
to pass yourself off for the son of Semira — Mrs. Brett. I 
am convinced of it now.** 

"Convinced of it!" said I, with an insolent sneer; 
and now ! since when is that now ? How much — how 
much wrought that conviction ? Tell me, good Mr. Myte, 
for how much my good mother, Mrs. Brett, bought you 
(was there much haggling?) — purchased you, I say, in a 
lump, as it were : bluster and remonstrance — virtuous re- 
sentment and invisible blushes. I hope the gold, at least, 
was true." 

" Out — out of my house ! " roared Myte, and he sprang 
nimbly forwards, and I verily thought was going to lay 
hands upon me. " I sell myself to Mrs. Brett for money ! 
I, and my son Langley, lend ourselves to — Oh ! go away 

— or I know not what I may do." 

" I care not, for my part," said I. " For what, Mr. 
Myte, do you take me ?" 

" An impostor ! " he cried, decisively. 

" And what the aim of my imposition ? " 

" The extortion of money," he said, with equal prompt- 
ness. 

"Oh, sir!" I rejoined, "fair play, if you please. If 



112 



KICHARD SAVAGE. 



you suspect, why may not I ? If money is so potential, 
perhaps you acknowledge its influence — feel it — fall to it." 

" My character through life," said he, after a pause, 
fi sets aside that supposition." 

" Will Ludlow's stand him in any stead ? " I asked. 
« Charity, Mr. Myte." 

" Freeman," he hegan. 

cc My name is not Freeman, sir." 

" Never mind that. We would not believe any thing 
against you ; we — Langley and I — upon the mere word 
of Mrs. Brett. Why, my thoughts were friendly towards 
you — very friendly." 

tc You told me that once before, sir, and still I doubt it. 
Words are wind, and easily vented." 

(C Therefore, I forgive what you say," returned Myte. 
ec Let me go on. W e had a worthier assurance than Mrs. 
Brett could offer." 

ec And whose was that ? " I inquired. 

" An honourable lady ; Lady Mason. She has told us 
that you are " 

" An impostor ? " 

ce That word was your own," cried Myte ; — t€ that you 
are Ludlow's nephew. She think's so. At all events, that 
you are not the son of Mrs. Brett. That child died in its 
infancy." 

" Gracious God ! " I exclaimed, cc do you mean to say 
that Lady Mason has disowned me ? I'll not believe it. 
This is another worthy device of my excellent mother. But 
why do I talk to you ? Does it signify to me a rush what 
you think of me ? " 

c< Yes," answered Myte, " it does. The good opinion 
of an honest man is worth all the rushes that were ever 
made into chairs for knaves to sit upon. 1 tell you that 
Langley and I waited upon Lady Mason, and had it from 
her own lips." 

I was confounded and unable to speak for some time. 
Myte regarded me with an aspect of pity. 

" My poor Ricardo !" said he, shaking his head. w You 
also, I fear, have been deceived by that insidious villain, 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



113 



Ludlow. Nay, don't storm, or I shall be certain you are 
acting in concert." 

" But I will speak, sir." 

" Young man," said Myte, with more solemnity than I 
thought he could put on, " when people league together to 
do base things, they should be very circumspect ; but what 
has Ludlow done ? No sooner is he turned out of doors 
by his mistress, than he recalls — reclaims — faugh ! takes 
to his bosom his wife — as infamous a woman as ever 
spurned at every suggestion of decency, of virtue, of hu- 
manity. You see, we know all. And what have you done ? 
you have positively gone to live with them — you have 
made yourself one of them — identified yourself with them. 
What is the inevitable conclusion ? " raising his voice. 
" Why, roguery, roguery, roguery. Oh ! " and he shook 
his head so that his face was scarce distinguishable ; (e no 
more, no more. If you think you have any claim upon 
Mrs. Brett, get away from them, have nothing to do with 
them ; with your hands to your ears, and your feet to the 
ground, scamper away from them." 

This was a home thrust which I could not parry. It 
did look awkward. He was right. It was so excellent a 
foundation for Mrs. Brett to build upon ; I could not but 
see that. And then what man out of a thousand — if, in- 
deed, any man were to be found, who could understand, 
much less sympathise with the feelings that had prompted 
Ludlow to take back to his forgiveness a penitent sinner — 
that sinner being his wife. Presently, however, a sense of 
Myte's injustice towards me — an unprotected, inexperi- 
enced youth — returned to me. I was too proud to ask 
him to put a favourable construction upon my proceedings 
— to suspend his opinion of me. I turned, therefore, to 
him, and said, — 

" I called, sir, to inquire whether a gentleman, tall and 
stout, has been here after me ? " 

" No gentleman/' returned Myte, " tall and stout, or 
short and slender, has been here. Do you mean Colonel 
Brett?" 

" 1 do not. Is any letter lying for me ? " 
" No letter lies for you here." 



114 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



" Then, good morning, sir," and I was about to depart. 

4f Stay!" cried Myte; "let us see — your clothes — 
you will come for them ? " 

" 1 will send for them," I replied; " into this house, 
sir, 1 never set my foot again." 

" Would to God, Richard," said Myte, " I could think 
you honest." 

" Is your money safe ? " said I, looking over my shoul- 
der ? 44 Is your plate gone ? Have you counted the spoons? 
Where's your watch ? " 

44 Stay, I tell you," urged Myte, fumbling in his pocket 
for a small key, which he drew out. 

44 How I hate," I exclaimed, 4 6 this detestable scene. 
Mr. Myte, you shall regret your conduct to me this day — 
upon my soul, you shall. What new insult ? Search my 
trunks. I will wait while you send for a tipstaff." 

" I didn't mean that — not that," cried Myte, clapping 
down the lid of a tin box which he had just opened. " Look 
here, Ricardo. I should like to part good friends with 
you, in case your story should turn out to be true. Upon 
my word, it would go nigh to break my heart — it would, 
indeed, to think that I had done you injustice. See here," 
he continued, opening the box, and coining towards me 
with a coaxing smile, 44 look at these. Here, take these 
parings from the hoof of the golden calf," and he handed 
me several pieces of gold. 

The old fellow caused a rising in my throat, which I 
gulped down again. 

" Give me these parings, as you call them," I said. 

44 Yes," he replied, complacently, counting them into my 
hand. " One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 
ten — there." 

I tossed them from me on the ground, as a man deals 
cards. 

i( There," said I, " stoop and pick them up, as you have 
stooped, I dare say, to pick up money. I shall not stoop 
to receive money from you. Now, if this is not the basest 
insult of all ; but Til be even with you yet." 

« Oh ! dear me — don't ! " exclaimed Myte, - 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



115 



by the coat. " If that wasn't the face, and the voice too, 
of Semiramis, may I never touch gold more." 

I broke from him, and rushed out of the office ; and, 
hastening up a gateway, gave vent to my feelings in a flood 
of tears. I had conceived a sort of affection for the little 
man, the extent of which, until 1 parted from him (as I 
resolved, for ever) 1 did not know. I felt a yearning, too, 
to take leave of Mrs. Myte and her daughter, who had, 
upon all occasions treated me with singular and unvarying 
kindness. But that must not be thought of now. Other 
considerations pressed upon me. 

And, first — should I return to Ludlow ? I could not 
but be sensible that to continue to reside under the same 
roof with him must prejudice me very strongly in the eyes 
of those who were to decide upon the reality of my claims. 
The recent forgiveness of his wife would not be so called 
by the world, which never gives a man credit for a Chris- 
tian virtue, when the action of which it is the effect can be 
referred to a base motive. Her continuance in the house, 
coupled with my residence there, must inevitably throw an 
air of collusion over the whole business. Myte, after all, 
was not so much to blame. Mankind generally would draw 
the same inference. But then, I could not bring myself to 
leave Ludlow in his present frame of mind, of which, for 
a reason I will hereafter disclose, I have furnished only a 
faint description to the reader. Besides, the very money 
wherewith I should be enabled to support myself for a 
time, was of his provision ; and it would be nothing short 
of ingratitude to run away from him — to employ a com- 
mon saying — in the very shoes he had placed upon my 
feet. 

Again, the extraordinary weakness or wickedness of 
Lady Mason, our joint endeavours could alone counteract. 
There could be no doubt — for Myte in grave matters was 
a man of veracity — that she had renounced me to him 
and Langley, and that she was prepared to maintain her 
disavowal, at all hazards. " Hang that woman — that wife 
of his ! M thought I, as I turned into the street in which 
we lodged : " would that Ludlow had never sought, or seen 
her ! " 

i 2 



U6 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



I was about to knock at the door, when a man tapped 
me on the shoulder. " One word with you, if you please," 
he said, beckoning me a few paces. I attended him. 

e< Is your name Savage ? " he inquired. 

" It is ; what do you want ? " 

" Here, Bill, lend a hand/' he said. 

Bill, it seemed, was alive to business ; for scarce ere 
the words spoken, when my arms were pinioned by a 
powerful ruffian, and I was thrust into a coach, the two 
men tumbling in after me. In an instant, the door was 
closed, the windows were drawn up — the blinds after 
them, and the coach drove off at a rapid rate. 

I was so confounded by this sudden seizure, that I was 
surprised out of my presence of mind. In a moment, how- 
ever, I regained my senses, and struggling violently with 
the two fellows, attempted to get hold of the handle of one 
of the doors. 

" Curse his young bones and muscles," cried one of 
them, with a brutal oath. " This won't do. Down with 
him, Bill." 

Hereupon, Bill dealt me a tremendous blow on the side 
of the head, and winding his hand into my cravat, thrust 
me down upon one of the seats. " 1 shall be choked," I 
gasped ; s( don't murder me." 

(C Not this bout," cried the fellow, with a hoarse chuckle, 
planting his knee upon my chest, and forcing my head 
back with his hand. u Now, Watson, where's the rope ? 
Just tie up his pickers and stealers ; he can't do much 
harm, after that." 

Watson was ready with his rope, which he bound 
tightly round my wrists. " Now get up," said he, lending 
me a back-handed slap upon the face, " and tell us how 
you find yourself by this time." 

Whatever my private feelings of resentment might be, 
I was wise enough to keep them very private. I per- 
ceived it was useless to remonstrate with men, whom, had 
I been at perfect liberty, I could not effectually resist, and 
who had rendered me altogether powerless. They WW 
acting under orders ; and these, although in some alarm. I 
applied myself to discover. 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



117 



" Gentlemen," I began, (what a shocking perversion of 
this word circumstances compel us, at times, to commit !) 
— <c gentlemen, I am sure there must be some mistake. 
I cannot be the person you want." 

" Shall I just make the gag useful ? " said the fellow, 
who was called Bill, " that mouth of his will be opening/' 

" Young fellow," cried the other, " if you'll promise 
not to set up your throat, and to attempt no escape, Bill, 
there, shall keep his gag in his pocket ; if you make a 
noise or a scuffle," swearing horribly, " it shall be worse 
for you. We have got you ; and we know what to do 
with you ; and what we choose to do with you, nobody 
need know. We shan't murder you, I dare say, unless you 
wish it." 

" But, what are you going to do with me ? " I urged, 
greatly disturbed at this speech, which implied that murder 
was one of the branches of the worthies' profession. 

" He will be chattering, you see," said Bill. 

" Never mind," replied Watson, 6e it does him good, 
and us no harm. It's natural he should feel a little 
curiosity. Shouldn't you, Bill ? 

" Why, yes," said Bill. " Nature, you know, as a 
man may say, is what we all feel " 

" Do we ? " returned Watson. " Well, I'm no scholar, 
and don't know much about that." 

" Gentlemen," said I, " I am sure you are in an error. 
I am certain you have taken the wrong person." 

" Catch us doing that," replied Watson ; " though I 
dare say, if we had taken any one else instead of you, 
you'd have thought him the right one. No — no." 

" I am known to nobody ; " I said. ec No human 
being can possibly entertain any enmity against me." 

" Perhaps not," returned Watson quietly ; 6C we heard 
it was to be all for your good ; you wouldn't be easy, 
young fellow ; and so you're to be sent where they'll try 
to make you comfortable." 

" What have I done ? " 1 inquired. " I have injured 
nobody." 

" Perhaps not," again, said Watson ; it appears you 
have been paying great attention to a certain lady, who'd 
i 3 



118 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



rather be without it ; and that's the long and the short. 
You shan't be sent to the Indies, without knowing who's 
to be at the expense of you." 

u The Indies/' I exclaimed. <f And who is it would 
send me there ? " 

{C Ah ! " cried Watson, while Bill chuckled approvingly 
at his friend's peculiar humour, * f you'll know that one of 
these days, when you return with a yellow face, and a bag 

of yellow guineas. c Mrs. B ; how d'ye do, dear 

Mrs. B ; many thanks for your kindness in taking 

care of me — here I am, come back again, you see.' 
Then says Mrs. B , c mighty glad to see you, 1 pro- 
test,' says she ; ' and how did you leave the blacks at 
Jamaica ? ' she says. ' Why, Mum,' says you, e they're 
as well as the whites'll let 'em be. They keep their 
colour,' you says, c which is more than I've been able to 
do,' meaning your yellow phiz. Oh ! you've a famous 
chance before you, Mr. Savage, and I wish you luck, with 
all my heart. You'll remember us when you return ? " 

I said no more. It was too clear that Mrs. Brett was 
at the bottom of this — that my mother had hit upon these 
means of providing for me. 

" Come, young one," cried Bill, after a long pause, 
attracting my attention by a kick on the shins, " don't 
fall asleep. You'll have plenty of time for a nap, before 
they give you a row down the river. 'What time are they 
to be up with the boat ? " to Watson. 

" Nine," replied his companion. 

cc Three good hours, yet," rejoined Bill. e< We're 
nearly there by this time, I should think." 

cc I dare say," answered Watson, letting down the blind 
and the window. " You're a good one, at a guess, Bill," 
he continued, drawing in his head, which he had thrust 
out at the window — " here we are. Stop ! " 

The coach now stopped, and the driver came to the 
door, which he opened. 

" Now, Mr. Savage, will you be so good ? " cried Wat- 
son with mock politeness — "there, now, — not quire so 
fast," he added, seizing me, as I attempted to spring out 
of the vehicle — " we're so fond of your company, that 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



119 



we must stick to you. Lend a hand, Bill, and show the 
gentleman into the house. Be very gentle with him — 
you know how." • 

The ruffian took the hint. Clasping me under the arm 
with one huge hand, he wound the other into my cravat, 
forcing his knuckles into my throat. Watson did like- 
wise, and lifting me out of the coach, and urging me for- 
ward with their knees, they succeeded in getting me into 
the passage of a small alehouse. 

" Now, Rugby/' cried Watson, as they dragged me to- 
wards the back part of the house, speaking to a short stout 
man, who was lighting a lantern, " we've caught our 
bird at last. He hasn't sung much since we've had him/' 

<e Oh ! he's a sweet one — he is," cried Rugby, as he 
looked into my face by the aid of the lantern, giving me a 
plaguy chuck under the chin, and mimicking the chirping 
sound with which a man encourages his favourite bird. 
" He hasn't sung much, hasn't he ? it's moulting time 
with him," surveying my clothes. 

" He'll soon shed his feathers, I doubt." 

" A tankard of ale," said Watson ; €C we've had dry 
work hitherto." Rugby went away, presently returning 
with a foaming measure. 

"Now, Mr. Savage," said Watson, turning to me, 
"tell us at once, to save trouble. Will you go up 
stairs quietly ? or do you mean to compel us to treat you 
roughly ? Bill, let go his throat, will you ? " 

" If you will unbind my wrists, I will go quietly," I 
said ; " the rope hurts them very much. Nay, upon my 
honour, I will offer no resistance." 

(c I think we can manage him, if he does," said Rugby ; 
ce why, if you'd only leave him to me, I'd up with him in 
no time." 

" You would," cried Watson ; " he'd down with you 
in less than no time : I can tell you that, mine host. 
There, Bill, pocket the rope ; and hand over the tankard. 
Here, young one, lay hold. I like a fellow of spirit." 

I drank heartily, emptying the measure. " Now, gen- 
tlemen," I said, giving the tankard to Rugby, " I attend 
i 4 



120 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



you. It is useless to resist ; and I shall not attempt it. 
You are going, it seems, to carry me on board a vessel." 

"No, we ain't/' replied Watson, "our work's nearly 
ended. When we've given you over to two jolly tars who 
will be here at nine, we've nothing to do but to make our 
bow to honest Rugby here/' (the villanous host ex- 
panded his mouth into a grin at the inapplicable phrase) 

" and to wait upon the lady — dear Mrs. B , your Mrs. 

B , who will be anxious to know whether you have 

been placed in safe keeping/' 

" Well, gentlemen," 1 returned, ee I give you warning, 
which I hope you will be pleased with me for doing — if 
I should find means to escape from the fate designed me 

by Mrs. B as you call her — now, or at any future 

time, my best endeavours shall be exercised to trace you 
out, and to have you punished as you deserve. You 
know the law will not permit such outrages to be com- 
mitted with impunity." 

Bill had his hand up in readiness for a stunning blow, 
which he designed for my head, but he was checked by 
Watson with a fierce oath. 

ce Not much chance of your escaping, Savage/' he said, 
with a laugh ; " if you do, we will give you leave to set 
the bull-dogs after us. Come, walk up — you first, if you 
please." 

So saying, he administered an unceremonious shove to 
me, which caused me to stumble over the first stair. 
" Lend us the lantern," said he, to Rugby ; " this young 
gentleman's not used to your stairs. He'll come down 
more easily, I dare say." Having pushed me up three 
flights of steep and narrow stairs, the men halted at a door 
immediately before them. 

" Where is the key, my jolly host ? " asked "Watson. 

ei Here, master," answered Rugby. 

Watson, having unlocked, unbolted, and unbarred the 
door — for this door, unlike others that are usually to be 
met with in honest houses, was furnished with bolts and 
bars on the outside — projected his lantern, and took a 
momentary survey of the room, into which, immediately 
afterwards, he thrust me without ceremony. 



RICHARD SAVAGE, 



121 



" There — get you in there/' said he, proceeding to lock, 
bolt and bar ; <e if you don't find it warm enough, there's 
plenty of room for a dance. No wind can get at him, I 
think, Rugby ? the windows are pretty fast ; and it won't 
whistle down the chimney, I promise you. You'll find a 
sort of a bed somewhere ; take your nap out on it," he 
added, through the key-hole, " it hasn't been much slept 
upon lately ; and I don't think there ever was a good 
sound night's rest got out of it yet." 

With a burst of boisterous and, I dare say, heart-felt 
merriment, the three rogues left me to my own reflections. 

And sad and bitter they were, for a time — and then, 
revengeful. But her revenge, it was too apparent, would 
precede mine, perhaps, prevent it. Was it certain — 
whatever Watson might have hinted to the contrary — 
that my life would not be attempted — that I should not 
be murdered in this den ? That I had full reason to be- 
lieve would be the disposal of me most satisfactory to Mrs. 
Brett. For, of what avail — lasting avail — to send me to 
Jamaica, if I chanced to come back again, the possibility 
of my doing which my mother, guilty, I remembered, as 
well as malignant and revengeful, must have revolved, 
before she decided upon this step. Murdered — the decree 
had gone forth — I was to be murdered — drowned, it oc- 
curred to me, by the jolly tars of whom Watson had 
spoken, whose jollity would suffer little diminution from 
the trivial circumstance of having sent a poor devil to the 
bottom of the Thames. My hair stood on end at this 
suggestion — and the sweat gathered into drops upon my 
forehead. 

The moon at the instant broke through the darkness. 
Bland goddess ! she never walked out of a cloud to supply 
the exigence of the hide-bound brains of a poetaster more 
opportunely than she seemed to visit me in my prison, 
now. Through one of the small windows, high above my 
reach, and barred — her light streamed into the room dis- 
closing its dimensions. It was tolerably large and square. 
A huge, old-fashioned bedstead against the wall opposite 
the windows, the sole thing in the room, except myself — 
and I, indeed, a thing — entrapped, outwitted — brought 



122 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



to my pleas, and my knees, too ; yes, my prayers, my 
tears, my cries, my wild howlings for mercy — for life — 
by a woman; and that woman (it was a lie — a fiend) 
my mother ! 

It would have done her heart good — I was about to 
write, but it had, long ago, been past that — to have heard 
me curse and swear, as I ran madly about the room, seek- 
ing some impossible outlet. No chimney — no trap-door 
in floor or ceiling ; no chance of scaling the windows ; no 
chance if I could do so. Exhausted, at length, by these 
unavailing and weak efforts, I flung myself upon the 
mattress. I would sleep out the interval, between this 
and nine o'clock. I wished the time were come. Sus- 
pense was agony. 

It would not do. Sleep was out of the question. So 
was it to lie passive, whilst dreadful thoughts of horror 
and of death came thickly — the last more hideous than 
the former, and wreaked themselves upon my brain. I 
could not bear it. Starting up violently, my arm came 
in contact with something that protruded from the wall — 
was it merely the wall ? at the back of the bed. There 
was a sort of dingy curtain — I know not what to call it — 
which prevented my seeing what this something was. I 
rent a hole in the rotten piece of linen. It was a key — 
a key in the lock of a door. I tried it. It turned easily. 
Already I could open the door some inches — remove the 
bedstead, and I should at once find myself in another 
room — a room they had probably forgotten, and the door 
of which they had most likely omitted to secure. 

cc Ha ! ha! I sprang from the bed in a transport, and 
was at my work in a trice. These villains were not adepts — 
they had something of their business yet to learn. My 
escape would teach them foresight — caution. They would 
make all fast before hand, next bout. I did not think, at 
the time, of my successor, whoever he might be — with 
whom it would go hard in consequence of their acquired 
caution and foresight. 

Never, surely, was there such a huge, unmanageable, 
impracticable bedstead. Invoking imprecations upon the 
joiner, I laboured away at the vast effort of wood- work. 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



123 



and had nearly drawn it from the wall far enough to enable 
me to open the door, and to squeeze myself through, when 
a loud knocking arrested my attention, and suspended my 
labours. 

" Hilloah ! young fellow ! " cried the gruff voice of 
Rugby. 

" Well ; what do you want ? " I answered, in a cou- 
rageous tone. " Are you going to let me out ? " It 
occurred to me that Rugby, being alone, and by no means 
a powerful man, if he opened the door, I would have a 
struggle for it. Could I force him into the room, and suc- 
ceed in bolting and barring him quietly within, I might 
slip down stairs — out at the door, and then — " Mrs. Brett 
— my service to you." My heart leapt at the possibility of 
it. The reply of Rugby, however, dispelled this pleasing 
anticipation. 

" Going to let you out ? " said he, " not I, till your time 
comes. Mr. Watson's a kind-hearted, considerate gentle- 
man, and he wants to know whether you'll have any thing. 
If you will, me and Bill Sims'll bring it to you." 

(( I want nothing ; go away, and leave me/' I said. 

" You might put a handle to my name, and call me 
Mister/' said Rigby : " neither hog, dog, nor devil. ' I 
want nothing — go away ! ' I should like to have the teach- 
ing of you manners. I'd cut 'era into you, I would, that 
you'd never forget 'em," and the fellow retired, muttering. 

When he was well gone, I resumed my employment with 
renewed vigour. I had been on tenter-hooks whilst the 
man stayed, lest he should be reminded of the door of the 
inner room, which I concluded to be immediately on his 
right hand. In a short time I had sufficiently removed the 
bedstead to press myself through the opening of the door 
behind it, which I did with such precipitation as to fall 
headlong down a couple of steps that led into the inner 
room. I got up, regardless of the accident, and proceeded, 
as well as I was able, to explore the apartment. It was 
a small garret, or rather hole, lighted in the day-time by 
a casement — but this I did not, at the moment, observe. 
My first impulse was to make towards that part of the wall 
in which I had assured myself I should find a door. Like 



124 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



many other assurances which a man makes to himself, mine 
had no foundation in reality. After carefully (in hoth senses 
carefully) feeling the whole superficies of the walls, and of 
the ceiling — for that I could reach with my hands — not 
a door was to be found, except, indeed, the door that opened 
into my prison. The helplessness of my condition now re- 
turned to me with tenfold poignancy. I sat me down on 
the two steps, and could have wept with very anguish ; but 
of what avail, thought I, when I somewhat recovered my 
composure, to wring one's hands and to disturb one's 
spirits, when work is to be done, that, perhaps, after all, 
may be done ? 

Springing up — for a new hope broke in upon me — I 
hastened to the casement, which, with some difficulty, I 
opened. Could I get out, and make my escape over the 
roofs of the houses ! Some friendly neighbour would, per- 
haps, receive me, and assist my deliverance out of the hands 
of these murderers. Or, if no window were accessible, I 
could alarm the passengers in the street by my outcries, who 
might insist upon, nay, who would compel my liberation. 
But would they so ? I was not so certain of that. I decided 
that this should be my last resort ; for I was well aware 
that unless I had an opportunity of telling my story first, 
I should stand small chance of obtaining credit for it, 
against the combined contradiction of three hard-fronted 
ruffians who could, doubtless, utter a lie with more con- 
fidence than an honest man could relate the truth. 

The great fiend fly away with Rugby, and invent a new 
and exquisite torture expressly for him ! His house had 
been built for the purpose, and he had taken it with the 
view of accommodating young gentlemen who might hap- 
pen to fall under their mother's displeasure, with a few 
hours' lodging preparatory to their embarkation for the 
plantations. I could not stretch myself sufficiently far out 
of the casement to distinguish whether there were houses 
on either side of us. I began to fear that our house (our 
house !) was detached, in which case no hope was left to 
me. All was silence. Before, and widely extended before, 
was a space of ground, diversified, here and there, with 
patches of hungry grass, and ponds of accumulated rain. 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



125 



Not a soul — and I watched for half an hour — dotted the 
surface of this lost waste ; not a house was to be seen. 

Next, as to escape from the hole in which I was. The 
edge of the roof — a steep one — was barely a yard and a 
half below the casement. There was not even the com- 
mon wooden gutter to convey the rain from the eaves ; 
and now I turned from the casement and placed this ques- 
tion straight before me. I repeated it aloud, that, as it 
were, my mind should distinctly see it. (i Shall I stay 
here and submit myself to certain death, or, if that be not 
certain, to a life-long captivity worse than death, or shall I 
avail myself of this chance for my life which Providence 
has pointed out to me ? " 

No time was to be lost ; nor could there be any hesi- 
tation. Having taken off my shoes, and put them in my 
pockets, I fell upon my knees, and commended myself to 
God — and I arose, strengthened. 

It was a matter of no small difficulty to get myself, in 
a collected form, outside the casement, and when I had 
done so, to project myself upwards by its side, which was 
raised from the roof. One glance below would have been 
inevitable destruction. I threw myself forward, and on 
hands and feet made my way towards the ridge of the 
roof in an oblique direction, purposing to reach the next 
house, if there were one. I had proceeded some distance, 
when one tile, and then another, and another, gave way 
from beneath my feet, which could effect no hold or stay 
— neither could my fingers, the nails of which I vainly 
endeavoured to infix into the mortar. I was now sliding 
downwards at full length. God ! what a moment was 
that! My eyes closed — my senses reeled — and yet one 
thought — one vision horribly distinct within me. I saw 
myself below- — on the ground — on the flinty-jagged 
stones — and what I saw — what figure, if figure it may 
be called — the reader shall imagine ; for I cannot — or 
if I can, will not — describe it. 

Merciful powers ! what superhuman hand, outstretched 
from Heaven, has stayed — has saved me? Yes — my 
feet were stayed — restrained by a firm bulwark. I looked 
round — a secure wall, it seemed, against which I leaned 



126 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



— against which I lay my bursting temples. A flood of 
tears relieved me ; my heart was thankful to the Al- 
mighty ; but I could not as yet speak, nor could my mind 
yet form a prayer. 

I had fallen against a stack of chimneys, placed, as 
well as I could guess, between the partition that divided 
Rugby's house from its neighbour. As yet, I could dis- 
cover no garret-window corresponding with the one I had 
(and yet how long the time appeared !) just left. I 
decided, therefore, upon again venturing to the ridge of 
the roof, taking care to keep the chimnies immediately in 
my rear that, should my feet betray me a second time, 
they might once more stand me in good stead. This time 
I was more fortunate. Having reached the summit, I 
placed myself astride upon the roof, and took a survey of 
the prospect on my right hand, which I had not yet seen. 
The river lay before me and beside me, with its multi- 
farious craft, whose half-formed shadows hung beneath the 
water, black and almost as motionless as themselves. The 
beauty — if any there were — of this scene, was lost upon 
me. The picturesque must give way to the pressing, and I 
was in haste. Placing my hands before me, and im- 
pelling myself by my heels on either side of the roof, I 
got forward some distance till I was on a level with a se- 
cond stack of chimnies, similar to the former. I slid down 
to these easily ; and, lo ! not far off — but beneath me — 
the flat top of a garret- window. There was a long iron 
bar ; a hold-fast, I think it is called, attached to the 
chimnies and to the roof. I took off my cravat and tied it 
with a strong knot to my handkerchief, which I fastened 
to the bar ; and winding the other end tightly round my 
wrist, let myself down to the small platform. There was 
barely space to crouch down upon it, which I did. The 
horrible yard and a half of steep stiles was under this win- 
dow also. I shuddered at the thought of trusting myself 
to the frail security of the frame-work. 1 durst not 
attempt to crawl down by the side of the window, lest a 
single false step should precipitate me to the ground. And 
yet 3 how otherwise could I hope to get into it ? Perhaps, 
by some blessed chance, the room was occupied. I 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



127 



stretched my hand over the edge, and strove to discover 
whether there was a light in it. I had hardly done so, 
when, methought, I heard voices ; nor was I deceived ; 
and the momentary radiance of a candle illumined a small 
portion of the atmosphere beneath me. Thrusting my arm 
down as low as it could reach, I laid hold upon one side of 
the casement, and burst it open with a violent crash. 

" Christ Jesus! a ghost ! " cried a voice, and then a heavy 
tumble upon the ground. 

"What's the matter now? " exclaimed a second and more 
powerful voice. "Why, Simon, have you gone crazed?*' 

"There," cried the prostrate Simon, "there!" pointing, 
as I supposed, to the open casement. 

" You fool ! " said the other, " the fastening has given 
way : that's all." 

I heard him approach the window. It was now my turn 
to join in the conversation. 

" For God's sake," I began, "lend me some assistance.'' 

"Hilloah!" cried the man, looking out. "Who the 
devil are you ? what do you want ? " 

" Your assistance," I exclaimed. " I am an unfortunate 
young gentleman just escaped from murderers." 

" Where from ? " 

" From a fellow named Rugby — the alehouse hard by." 

" The devil \" said the man, "how did you contrive? — 
but a pretty fellow am I to be asking questions instead of 
lending a hand. Young man, turn yourself round, and let 
us see your feet over here instead of your chin ; only, 
gently ; mind, gently." 

I was not long about that. Unwinding the end of my 
cravat from my wrist, I did as he directed. Taking me 
with a firm gripe by the ankles, he guided my feet till they 
rested upon the ledge of the window ; then seizing me by 
the waistband with one hand, he clasped me tightly round 
the body with his arms, and drew me into the room. 

Simon had, ere this, regained his legs, and for some mo- 
ments after his father (for so my deliverer was) had seated 
me in a chair, stood staring at me in incredulous astonish- 
ment. 

" Come, Simon," said his father, " stir about. Don't you 



V28 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



see how pale the young gentleman looks. Go down stairs, 
and ask mother to lend you her bottle and a glass. Stay ; 
tell her to come up, and see a sight worth looking at." 

The brawny youth heaved a deep sigh from the bottom 
of his chest. " Well, father/' said he, u if I didn't think 
it was a goblin, I hope I may never touch victuals again." 

" You'll empty many a cupboard before you see a 
goblin," cried his father, as Simon left the room. " That 
boy," he added, turning to me, " has been made a fool of 
by his mother. But, come: cheer up — the worst is over." 

I began to make excuses for the trouble and interruption 
I had caused. 

" Not a word of that," said he ; " I'd rather see two 
honest men come in at the window, than one rogue at the 
door ? any day — wouldn't you ? And so no more words 
about that." 

cc Where is the precious young lamb ? " cried a little 
woman, hurrying into the room, with a candle like a comet 
streaming in the wind, "why, lad;" and with one hand 
upon her hip, she gazed upon me with tender interest, 
" how did you get in here ? Simon tells me you've walked 
over the tops of all the houses. You good dear !" to her 
husband, whose cheek she patted, " to take him in. It's 
just like him, sir. Simon, where are you? Pour out a good 
bumping glass, and give it to the young gentleman. Deary 
me ! deary me ! tch ! tch ! tch ! do see how the sweet fellow 
drinks it up ! Johnny Martin, do look at him. Who could 
have the heart to lay a finger on his head, Simon ? " 

Simon was at her elbow. u Help your father, my dear 
boy, and give me a drop ; and take a little yourself. You 
thought he was a ghost — ha ! ha ! he's as like my bro- 
ther's son, that went to sea, as ever two peas. I'll drink 
to your safe deliverance, sir," shaking her head; " oh ! 
you're a fine youth." 

" Come," said Martin, rising and stretching himself to 
his full dimensions, which were of a muscular compactness 
and development seldom witnessed, " there's something to 
be done, I see that. This young gentleman has been seized 
upon by two crimps, I suspect." 

" Crimps ! I'd crimp em, if I had 'em," cried Mrs. 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



129 



Martin, " the wicked cannibals ! to go to inspirit away a 
young, fine, beautiful " 

" My dear, sit down," gently urged Martin, " and let us 
hear the young gentleman's account of it." 

"Well, Johnny, well," returned his wife. " 1*11 listen 
to it with the greatest of pleasure. But I wish you had 'em 
to deal with, Johnny, that's all. What dost say, Simon?" 

<c I say," cried Simon, making up a prodigious fist, " I 
should like to have the walloping of one of 'em, let him be 
as big as he will." 

" Sweet fellow ; just like his father," said Mrs. Martin, 
pressing my hand. " Feel better, dear?" 

" Much, I thank you ; I am quite revived ; and will, if 
you please, relate how I came here." 

Hereupon, I told them how I had been thrust into the 
coach — my confinement at Rugby's — my escape thence 
— the whole with circumstantial minuteness. 

<e But have you any reason to suspect/' inquired Mar- 
tin, when his wife's exclamations had, in some degree, 
subsided, iC that these men have been employed by some 
enemy ? You have friends, sir, of course ; have they any 
enemies — your parents, I mean ; for you are too young 
to have made enemies yet." 

" He, enemies ! " cried Mrs. Martin, " they must be 
enemies of the whole human race that would go for to 
injure him. Why do you sigh, lad ? " 

I believe I did sigh. These were worthy creatures, I per- 
ceived, with whom I could have no reserve. Indeed, why 
should I ? Accordingly, I related briefly the outline of my 
life, dwelling more particularly upon the treatment I had 
met with from my mother — especially exemplified in this 
her last and memorable performance. 

The eyes of the good woman ran over during my story. 
When I had completed it, she pressed her son's hand, 
which she had been holding, between her own. " What a 
mother ! " she said ; <f the world's turned topsy-turvy, I 
think." • 

Simon returned the pressure. <c Father," said he, 
" breaking out suddenly, iC you may laugh at me, if you 

K 



130 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



like ; but if I wouldn't rather see a ghost than that lady, I 

wish I may never " 

Martin cut short his son's speech. 

<( Never mind," said he ; " that's nothing to the pur- 
pose. There's something to be done, Simon. These fellows 
must not be let off easily. Mr. Savage," turning to me ; 
(( my name's John Martin ; I'm a poor tailor, and honest 
as the world goes, and as folks say ; my son, here, follows 
the same business. Will you trust yourself with us ? 
Simon, I shall want you." 

" Willingly," said I. 

iC None the worse for being a tailor," said Mrs. Martin, 

is he, dear? — Mr. Savage, 1 should say; I humbly 
beg your pardon." (The poor woman had suddenly ac- 
quired a high notion of my greatness.) " He has been a 
soldier, sir ; and a better soldier never served Queen Anne 
(God bless her memory !). Many a long day's march has 
he toiled — he has." 

Martin smiled gravely. u Simon, help Mr. Savage on 
with your old top coat, and second-best hat. All the bet- 
ter if they don't fit him ; and, mother, one of my old 
check cravats." 

He walked round me when this addition to my apparel 
was effected. " No one would know him," he observed. 
i( Now, my pistols." 

a Don't run into any mischief, and do no murder, 
Johnny," cried his wife. " Simon, take care of him," in 
an undertone ; and to her husband, u Don't let Simon 
get a-fighting." 

u Won't I though," said Simon, u if there's occasion ? 
Father'll be by." 

6( He's a very Hannibal, sir ; and so is Martin," said 
the woman, confidentially. Ci I can always trust 'em 
together; and good reason — they never go out on any 
thing they need be ashamed of." 

Martin having stowed away his pistols, put on his hat 
and buttoned his coat, stooped his tall figure that his wift 
might kiss his cheek. Simon did likewise. u Now. take 
care — take care, my men, will you ? " saluting them affec- 
tionately. 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



131 



ec I also put in for a salute. ** God bless you, good 
Mrs. Martin/' 

u And will you ? " cried the woman, her eyes sparkling ; 
ec you're a dear, condescending, affable young gentleman 
• — that you are. And God bless you, too. Won't you 
come and see us again ? " 

" Indeed I will," said I ; " and often/' 

" We are ready, sir," cried Martin, with military pre- 
cision ; and following Martin and Simon, and followed by 
the woman's good wishes, I took my way down stairs. 



CHAPTER X. 

IN WHICH AN EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY IS PRESENTED TO RICHARD 
SAVAGE OF TURNING THE TABLES UPON HIS ARCH-ENEMY. HE 
DOES AN ACT UPON WHICH HE FORGETS, OR OMITS, TO^ APPLAUD 
HIMSELF; AND FOR WHICH, PERHAPS, SOME PORTION OF THE 
WORLD WILL HARDLY COMMEND HIM. 

When we got into the street, Martin faced about. " Si- 
mon," he said, iC stand by this young gentleman, while I 
step to the roundhouse. I shall be back in a few minutes." 

ec He's gone for the watch/' said Simon ; u they're not 
of much use when fighting's about ; but when it's all over, 
and one of 'em lugs out his tipstaff people get frightened, 
and go with 'em like lambs." 

Martin speedily returned with three of these auxiliaries. 
u Now, then," he observed, taking me by the arm, " if 
the sailors should be there, we shall be a match for them, 
I dare say. Keep by me, sir ; and should the rogues fall 
to blows, leave them to us. You can be of no service, and 
might come to harm." 

Thanking the considerate and friendly tailor, I pro- 
mised obedience to his orders ; and we walked up to the 
door of the " Ship afloat," for that, Simon whispered to 
me, was the sign of the house. 

" Slouch your hat, and draw your coat well about you, 
k 2 



132 



"RICHARD SAVAGE. 



and follow me. Come, Simon. Comrades, stand here for 
one moment. I have a word to say to the landlord." 

These several directions were given to us by Martin with 
great promptness. 

" Rugby/' he said, as he, Simon, and myself entered 
the passage, " you have two persons in your back parlour ; 
they are waiting for two sailors." 

Rugby stared, and scratched his cheek, and stared again. 
6C Why, Master Martin, there are, as I may say, two M 

cc I know there are," interrupted Martin ; " I want to 
see them." 

" Lord bless me ! they're only two friends of mine — 
you don't know 'em," said Rugby. 

"Perhaps not," returned Martin; " but I w r ant to 
make their acquaintance. In return, I'll introduce you to 
three friends of mine. Now, Rugby," he continued, as 
the watch came forward, " you're a ruined man if you 
don't keep a quiet tongue in your head. One word, 
and your two friends and you shall be tried together next 
sessions. You've got a young gentleman above stairs ? " 

Rugby's face turned as pale as the face of a bacchanalian 
can well do. 

(C My heart and heyday ! " he stammered — "a young 
gentleman ! No, I haven't." 

cc You say truth, and I'm a liar," said Martin. <c Not 
a word more. Send in a small bowl of punch, and mix one 
for these three gentlemen ; " and he led the way towards 
the back parlour. 

" Simon, my good fellow," cried Rugby, catching the 
youth by the sleeve, as he prepared to follow — " what 
does the governor mean ? " 

"Eh? mean!" cried Simon, staring him in the face, 
" why hadn't you asked him yourself, Master Rugby ? I 
don't carry his answers in my mouth, I can tell you ; and 
he flung from him. 

Martin had laid hold upon the handle of the door. 
ec Come between us," he whispered to me ; M and don't 
let them see your face if you can help it." So saying, the 
door was thrown open, and in we marched, Simon closing 
it after him. 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



133 



Watson and his friend Bill were disporting themselves 
over a bowl of punch and pipes of tobacco, and, on our 
entrance, hastily re-arranged themselves in their chairs, 
with the aspect of men who had been suddenly interrupted 
in a confidential chat. 

e( A fine night, gentlemen," observed Martin, as we 
took our seats. 

Is it ? " cried Watson with a tremendous oath. " It 
may be. Isn't it a d — strange thing, Bill, that we can't 
have this room to ourselves ? Here, Rugby ! " ham- 
mering with an empty tankard upon the table. 

" He's particularly engaged/' said Martin. 

c< Then go out, will you ? " cried Watson. 

ei Be off — you'd better," said Bill. " Why did you 
come in here ? " 

" Because we chose/' replied Simon, with a stare of 
audacious defiance. 

" Perhaps/' returned Bill, 6C we may choose to turn 
you neck and heels out ; the young 'un with a tooth- 
ache into the bargain." 

ei Perhaps," retorted Simon, with an air of indifference, 
drumming his knuckles on the table, iC unless you've done 
a very light day's work, you mayn't be able." 

At this moment, a bowl of punch was brought in by a 
squalid wench. 

ci Tell Rugby we want him, and must have him," ex- 
claimed Bill. 

" Yes, sir." 

" Somebody else wanted him, and has got him/' said 
Simon, grinning. 

iC Silence/' cried Martin, frowning at his son. " W e'll 
take a glass each, and to business. That's good," taking 
off a glass, and smacking his lips. 

" Better than your company," said Watson. 

" I dare say you think so," returned Martin. c< Now, 
Mr. Watson and Mr. Bill, I am come to fetch away the 
young gentleman you have got under lock and key in the 
top room." 

The fellows gazed at each other in astonishment, when 
they heard their names pronounced ; and by the time 
k 3 



134 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



Martin had finished the sentence, were perfectly dumb- 
founded. 

" I am sent," resumed Martin, " by a certain lady — 
you know whom I mean " 

" You are ? " cried Watson, " why, to be sure, you 
must be. What does she want now ? any thing amiss ? " 

" Nothing ; only she has changed her mind about him. 
You don't know her so well as I do — she often changes 
her mind ; and yet, I wonder she should have boggled at this, 
because she had done it so snugly. No one the wiser. 
Why, she tells me, that even you don't know her name." 

« Don't we, though ? " cried Bill — Mrs. " he 

stopped. 

« B " said Martin. 

" R, e, double t. I can spell, master/' cried the other. 

Martin glanced at me and then at his son. " What do 
you think of that fellow ? " he enquired of Simon, pointing 
to Bill. 

ie Nothing of him," cried Simon. 

" Very well," rising, " Mr. Watson, we lose time. I 
must have this young gentleman at once. Rugby tells me 
you have the key of the door." 

" I have," answered Watson — iC but no bubble, 

Mr. , what's your name? How do I know Mrs. 

Brett sent you ? Perhaps^ Watkins who employed us, has 
been bought over by the lad's friends? Where's your 
authority ? " 

" I have left it with Rugby. But are you sure you have 
got him safe ? " 

ei Watson and Bill were amazingly tickled at this. 

iC Safe ? " cried the former, laughing heartily. " Are 
you sure St. Paul's hasn't run away with the Monument ? " 

iC Why," returned Martin — " 1 know the room well. 
Isn't there a door behind the bedstead ? and doesn't it lead 
into the little garret ; and isn't there a window in the 
garret ? and couldn't a young fellow get out of the win- 
dow, and crawl over the tiles, and get into another window, 
and come and tell me all about it? and isn't this the young 
fellow?" knocking off my hat and disclosing my face. 
" and don't you think you'll be made to swing at Tyburn 
for all this ? " 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



135 



The men, staring at me in wild amazement, started up, 
overturning the table, and would have made off. Watson, 
however, was seized on the instant by the magnanimous 
tailor, and pinioned against the wall with his strong hands 
as effectually as though he had been fastened thereto by 
staples of iron. 

In the meantime, Bill was encountered by the as 
valorous, but less practised Simon. " You can't come 
this way, good sir," he exclaimed, thrusting the other 
back with his shoulder. 

" Take that then/' cried Bill, aiming a blow with the 
lightning rapidity of a finished bruiser at the face of his 
antagonist, — a blow which, had it taken effect, must in- 
evitably have dislocated his jaws. 

" What are you at, Simon ? " cried Martin ; have you 
got him ? " 

" Shall have him in a moment, father," replied Simon. 
e< I owe you one, Mister, for that : " and rushing for- 
wards, and closing with the other, he lifted him by main 
strength from the ground, threw him over the upset table, 
and falling heavily upon him, held him to the earth. 

" Now, Savage, call in the watch. It's all over with 
them/' 

I opened the door. The worthy functionaries were al- 
ready ranged on the outside, and now walked in. 

c< You are our prisoners," said the foremost, with a voice 
of authority. 

The fellows were at once handed over to the secular 
arm, and attempted no further resistance. Lest, however, 
they should please to do so on their way to the round- 
house, the rope, found in Bill's pocket, was brought into 
requisition ; and, with their hands bound, they were led 
off. 

" Bother that Bill — didn't the other call him Bill ? " 
said Simon ; "if I hadn't closed with him at once, he'd 
have given me what I shouldn't have liked. He'd have 
thrashed me in no time. Whenever, Mr. Savage, you've 
one of these fellows to deal with, run in upon him, and 
down with him." 

" I will, Simon, if I can," said I. 

k 4 



J 86 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



He grinned. <e Ay — that's it — there are two at the 
game, I know. Never mind : I mean, do as well as you 
can." 

We accompanied our captives to the round-house, and 
our charge being duly entered against them, they were 
locked up for the night. 

u Now, Mr. Savage," said Martin, as we retraced our 
wa y^ " y ou will sta y with us to-night. You will be 
wanted early to-morrow morning to go before the justice, 
that these fellows may be committed." 

I had not thought of this, which included another con- 
sideration of moment. (< I know the friend with whom I 
lodge," said I — " and he is a true friend, Mr. Martin — 
will be extremely anxious to learn what has become of 
me. I think I had better go home to-night. I will be 
sure to be with you to-morrow morning in time." 

ee As you please," returned Martin ; " I know what it 
is to be kept in suspense. In that case, Simon and 111 see 
you on your w r ay. Do you know where you are ? " 

I answered that I was entirely ignorant of the place. 

ec You are in Wapping," said he. " Come, when we 
get to Tower Hill, I think I can easily direct you." 

As we walked along, I was profuse in my acknow- 
ledgments of the protection he had rendered me. He 
deprecated thanks for so common a service, as he termed 
it, and we proceeded together in silence. Martin appa- 
rently in deep cogitation — I busy, likewise, with my own 
thoughts, and Simon silent, I suppose, because we were so. 

When we arrived upon Tower Hill, Martin halted, and 
gave me minute directions touching my route homewards. 
(e Now Simon," said he, iC bid Mr. Savage good night," 

" One word," said I ; " we must not part so. 1 hope 
you will forgive me, Mr. Martin ; but I cannot leave you, 
even for a few hours, without pressing you to accept some 
recognition more substantial than mere words, of the sen- 
timent I entertain of gratitude for your timely aid. so 
promptly rendered ; which perhaps has saved my life." 
I drew out my purse. 

Martin laid his hand upon mine, and answered with 
great gravity, e< Young gentleman, when a person requires 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



137 



my protection from an enemy, I no more think of the 
length of his purse than of his enemy's height. If your 
purse/' he added, smiling, te were as short as Simon's 
memory is sometimes, when he's thinking of Kitty John- 
son, and your enemy as long as that is," pointing to his 
shadow which lay before him on the ground about a rood in 
length, " it would be all one to me. When I enter upon 
a business, I go through with it to the best of my ability." 

I found it would be useless and offensive to urge him 
further. I turned therefore to his son. " At all events, 
Simon/' I began. 

" Simon tugged himself away from me abruptly. (e I 
won't take it, I tell ye — I won't take it. I don't let my- 
self out to hire. I'll shake hands, if you like." 

This was done with great cordiality on both sides. 

(i W ell — good night, sir/' said Martin. " To-morrow 
morning ? " 

{C Stay a moment," said I. " Do you know, Martin, I 
fear, after all, this will prove an awkward business. I 
have been thinking of it as we came along. The lady, 
the person who has endeavoured to make away with me, 
is my own mother." 

" I have been thinking of that, too/' said Martin ; 
" but I didn't like to speak of it. You cannot prosecute, 
can you ? " What's to be done ? " 

" To say the truth," I replied, " it is not so much from 
any tenderness I am affected by towards her that I feel 
the awkwardness of my position, as from consideration for 
another. I tell you," I added vehemently, " to see her 
hanged by the neck would cause me little concern. I 
could see it, sir." 

Martin stared ; and Simon said, — 

66 No, no, you couldn't." 

" Your spirits have been greatly agitated," said Martin, 
after a pause ; ce a night's rest will do you good. You 
will think differently — and better — to-morrow morning." 

" In the meanwhile, let me tell you," said I, (( that I 
am chiefly perplexed by the reflection that her husband, 
who is I believe a worthy man, may be brought into dis- 
grace by his wife's infamy." 



138 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



There is, then, a Mr. Brett ? " asked Martin. 

ce Colonel Brett is her husband," I replied. 

" Colonel Brett ! " exclaimed Martin ; " I know him 
well ; and a most excellent officer and gentleman he was, 
and I dare be sworn, is. A soldier, young gentleman, can- 
not bear dishonour. You must — we must contrive some 
means of hushing this matter up." 

" Will you go with me to-morrow morning to him ? " 
said I. 

" It must be very early. I am bound to appear against 
the men, and shall be compelled to attend." 

In a word, I gave him my direction ; and it was settled 
that he should call for me on the morrow. 

" Her husband has saved her," I said, as I shook him 
by the hand. 

" Or her son would," he replied. I was not so sure of 
that. I am not so sure of it. 

" When I left Martin, I hastened to a tavern, which I 
had descried while I was talking to him, and which was 
at the corner of Tower-street. Here I procured two 
glasses of right Nantz to quiet my spirits, and recruit my 
strength. These I despatched speedily ; and in less than 
an hour found myself at the door of Ludlow's lodging. 

On the following morning Martin was at the door to the 
minute. Ludlow received him with marks of uncommon 
gratitude. 

" I have brought you your hat, sir," said Martin : 
e: your cravat and handkerchief are still flying from the 
chimney like a flag of triumph. How you could accom- 
plish your enterprise, I cannot conceive. It made my wife 
ill to look out of the window. I pointed out to her the 
way you must have come." 

" And it makes me ill to think of it," said Ludlow. 
€C my good and excellent friend to a persecuted and de- 
serving lad. He's a gentleman born, Mr. Martin.' 4 

" I have heard his story," returned Martin, and he 
related circumstantially every thing that had passed on the 
previous evening, which, although Ludlow had made me 
communicate it to him before he went to bed, his ears 
drank in as eagerly as before. 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



139 



We were not long before we reached Colonel Brett's 
house. He was not yet stirring. 

" Tell your master/' said I, to the footman, a that my 
business is pressing, and will not admit of a moment's 
delay. My name is Savage — Richard Savage. I must 
see him." 

" He won't let you, I'm certain," replied the servant. 
" I shall only get myself into trouble by disturbing him. 
I won't go up to him, that's flat. I won't go." 

(X You had better," said I, " unless you are tired of your 
service, and wish me to do your office." 

" I once helped to turn you out of this house, young 
master," said the man, grinning ; " must I do it again ? " 

" I shall help to have you kicked out, you rascal," I ex- 
claimed. " That livery will be on another man's shoulders 
in less than four-and-twenty hours, if you do not call your 
master immediately." 

" You had better go," urged Martin ; ec as for laying a 
finger upon this young gentleman — do you see this ? " 
showing his enormous fist. e( Ay, you may call your 
fellows — if I don't scatter half a dozen of 'em ! " He 
shook his head knowingly, an eloquent conclusion that was 
not lost upon the footman. 

" Well, if I do wrong, it's your fault, not mine," he 
said, as he went up stairs. He returned presently. 
ce Master's jumped out of bed, and's coming down in a 
devil of a passion. I wouldn't be in your shoes for a 
trifle." 

" Your's are handsomer ; but mine'll do," said Martin. 
" I suppose these fine chairs were made to sit upon," and 
he took a seat. 

The colonel descended the stairs in a fume. He halted 
at the bottom. " Walk this way, youngster ; I'll settle 
your business presently. But whom have you got there ? " 
advancing towards us. " What huge congregation of bones 
and muscles is this ? Where did you pick up this Pata- 
gonian ? " 

" I'm no Patagonian," said Martin, drawing himself up 
to his full height, and elevating his chin ; " I'm a poor 
tailor, your honour, and have been a soldier." 



140 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



" A tailor and a soldier V cried the colonel. C( Hercules 
with his distaff! March this way, Ajax Snip. Savage — 
what's your name ? come on." 

He led us into a hack room, and, having seated himself, 
(( Now, child; if you recount any more fables, such as the 
one I listened to at Button's, it shall be the worse for you. 
What do you mean by disturbing me at this untimely 
hour ? Do you know," he added sternly, " that Lady 
Mason will not countenance your falsehoods ? Where's 
your Burridge ? he is not forthcoming/' 

" That Lady Mason will not countenance falsehoods/' 
I replied, " I should be very glad to believe. That she 
does, I know. I am sorry she will not lend her counte- 
nance to truth, which, colonel, ere long — you may smile, 
sir — and turn up your lip because I am a lad — which, I 
say, ere long she shall be made, if not to countenance, to 
confess." 

" Gently with his honour/' said Martin — "gently." 

<{ I have not yet heard from Mr. Burridge," I con- 
tinued ; " but he will be forthcoming, I trust ; or the 
treachery of somebody has been only too successful." 

" Who is that somebody ? " exclaimed the colonel ; " I 
know whom you mean. But why am I kept here — what 
do you want ? " striking the table. " I heard you were 
gone to sea." 

" I have not yet taken water," said I. et My destin- 
ation was to have been Jamaica. My mother, however, 
omitted to furnish me with letters of recommendation, 
which, proceeding from her, must needs have been most 
advantageous to me." 

" D ation ! " cried the colonel, in a rage, " the in- 
solence of this boy ! " 

" We lose time," said Martin, drawing out his watch. 
" Tell his honour, sir, at once, what we have come about." 

(i Listen with patience to me for two minutes, and you 
will alter your tone, colonel," said I ; and I related the 
particulars of my seizure and escape. 

The colonel sat for some time after I had concluded, 
alternately gazing at Martin and me, his hand clasping his 
chin. 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



141 



<( It won't pass/' he said, at length ; ec it won't pass. 
Nothing will do for you, you young vagabond, as I told 
you in my letter, but Bridewell and the whipping-post. 
Here — you make it to be believed that you are gone, or 
going, to sea, and get this great tailor to eke out a wretched 
story concocted in that shallow brain of thine, that Mrs. 
Brett has caused you to be made off with by crimps. 
Who are you, fellow ? " to Martin ; " you say you have 
been a soldier — where? in what regiment ? under whom? 
How do I know that you are not a thief ? Speak ! are 
you an honest man, or a thief?" 

Martin turned fiery red at the question. <c I hope, 
colonel," he brought out at last, " I know the difference 
between a high gentleman like you, and myself ; and I 
trust I have becoming respect for the cloth ; but, by G — } 
sir, if any other man had asked me that," — he paused for 
a moment — "why shouldn't I say it? he had never 
asked me a second time. Colonel Brett/' he added, " I 
can bring many to speak to my character, if necessary ; 
but it is yow character that is now in question. It is, sir. 
If you have been conniving with the lady, your wife, to 
make away with this young gentleman, which I cannot 
help suspecting from the passion you were in — and I 
never knew a man in a passion that wasn't in the wrong 
— then/' with an oath, (C I'm a better man than you, 
though I'm a poor tailor, and you a rich gentleman." 

How mean the fine gentleman looked at that moment, 
and how much like a man the tailor ! 

" Under whom have you served ? " inquired the co- 
lonel. 

" Colonel Cutts," said Martin, shortly. 

" Then you knew Captain Steele ? " 

ff That 1 did," cried Martin, his brow clearing, " and 
an excellent gentleman his honour was — and he knew me ; 
too. Ask him, sir, if he remembers Corporal John Martin? 
I warrant you. But — " turning to me, <c tell the colonel 
the rest. Time draws on apace." 

(< What more ?" inquired the colonel. " The bolster, 
I suppose." 

u My story requires no bolstering, sir," I said ; c: we 



142 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



have proofs ; " and I told him of the capture of the two 
men, and of their confession. 

He was greatly troubled, and arose and paced the room, 
his hands clasped behind him. " W ait a moment/' he 
said at length, waving his hand, and he hurried from the 
apartment. 

He came back, after some time, and in disorder; his 
face flushed — his eyes kindled. 

" Martin," he said, " this matter must be stopped ; we 
must buy off these two fellows. What money will effect, 
must be done." 

" Then, sir," began Martin, " you are now convinced 
that the lady was " 

I checked him. 

(i Why, as to that," he continued, " the men are down 
in the headborough's book, and I don't know. Money 
will go a great way, to be sure." 

" How much ? " said the colonel. 

" Why, perhaps, a couple of guineas might satisfy the 
watch." 

The colonel drew out his purse. " Take five ; and here 
are five for yourself. I am sorry I said what I did." 

(< Your honour is too good to say so much now," cried 
Martin. " As for the money, I won't touch it." 

" I insist upon it," said the colonel. " What ! mu- 
tinous, corporal ? " He pressed his hand. " Come, you 
will greatly oblige me." 

Martin said no more, but pocketed the money. 

" Then you think I may venture to hope that I shall 

hear no more of this d ugly business ? " inquired the 

colonel. 

c; I think your honour may. If we don't come forward, 
they will be discharged : but I am known, and unless I 
crossed the headborough's hand he would have me before 
his worship to tell all I knew." 

" Colonel," said I, " I am a party in this matter. 
How do you know that I am satisfied with this arrange* 
ment ? " 

He drew me aside. " Child," said he, "what I do not 
say to thee now, you must take it for granted that I feel. 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



143 



Dost think I am not confoundedly ashamed ? You must 
call upon me in a few days. What will satisfy you for 
the present ? " 

" 1 want no hush-money/' I replied ; f* hut I must 
have some assurance that there shall he no repetition of 
this." 

" That I make you/' said the colonel ; 6C on my word 
of honour, as a gentleman, Mrs. Brett shall not — indeed, 
she has solemnly promised that she will not attempt it a 
second time. You hesitate ? " 

ec No — I will take my chance, colonel." 

u You're a fine fellow. Something shall he done for 
you. Leave it all to me." 

ec I expect nothing — I hope nothing," I replied. 
" From this time forth, money is out of our question. 
But her son I am, and will be, and will be known to he. 
Perhaps, after all, the honour of the relationship between 
us will not be on my side. The advantage will be on 
neither." 

He shrugged his shoulders. " Fight it out between 
you," said he ; " I am on half-pay, and do not intend to 
fight any more battles." 

I left Martin at the colonel's door, after promising that 
I would very shortly call upon him. 

I found Ludlow with his wife, and related all that had 
passed between the colonel and myself, and the arrange- 
ment that had been entered into. He did not seem at 
first greatly to approve it, but reconciled himself to it 
after a short time. 

" It will touch her," said he, u to be obliged to you — 
to be beholden to your mercy ! Come, that's something. 
What she feels now, is a little of our vengeance. Don't 
you see ? How her heart is torn different ways at this 
moment, and no way the right one." 

" But stop!" he said, after a long pause; u I don't 
half like what you've done. This will make her hate you 
all the more. What's the worth of the colonel's word of 
honour? that!" snapping his fingers; iC how could he 
restrain her if she had a mind to try it again ? And she 



144 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



will. Once wicked — always wicked. The bad can never 
be ashamed or reclaimed." 

" I am sorry/' he said to me ; some time afterward s, 
when we were alone, ei that I blurted out that about the 
wicked^ before Jane. It might have hurt her feelings, 
which I'm sure I didn't intend. She didn't appear to 
remark it, did she ? " 

" Not at all," I answered. 

But she did. I had involuntarily turned my eye to- 
wards her when Ludlow spoke ; and how it stung the 
woman, her eye, which was bent upon her husband, told 
me plainly. It was an expression not to be described. 
That I remember it so well — but I will not anticipate. 



CHAPTER XI. 

AN OLD FRIEND WITH AN IMPROVED APPEARANCE AND IN* A NEW 
CHARACTER. WITH AN INSTANCE OF COMPLICATED WICKEDNESS^ 
WHICH, IT IS TO BE HOPED, HAS NOT OFTEN BEEN PARALLELED. 

One morning, Mrs. Greaves informed me that a tall and 
very fine gentleman had just got out of a chair, and was 
waiting in the passage, desirous of seeing me. I went 
down, looking to behold no less a personage than Colonel 
Brett. He was, indeed, a very fine gentleman, but much 
taller and less corpulent than the colonel. 

" Ah, Dick, you dog," said he, seizing me by the waist ; 
" here I am at last, at your service." 

<c Mr. Burridge !" I exclaimed, in astonishment, sur- 
veying my old master, who was dressed in the height of 
the mode, and might have appeared in Pall Mall as a man 
of the first figure. 

(e Yes," said Burridge, divining the cause of my sur- 
prise ; " a metamorphosis, I grant you. Ah, well ! a 
diamond must sparkle, Dick, or who'll look upon it ? 1 
called where your letters told me I should find you. and 
saw an atom, who at length informed me where you were, 
Who is that little grig ? " 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



145 



cc His name is My to," said I. "I have been living 
with him for some months." 

" Ah well ! " cried Burridge ; " living with him, and 
not yet dead ! He'd kill me in no time. And so you're 
with Ludlow, he says. He called him something." 

u Jeremiah Woful, I dare say." 

c< The name — and not a bad one/' said Burridge, 
laughing. u The diminutive tells me he believes he has 
wronged you, and wants to sing his palinode. But don't 
you ask me up stairs ? " 

I led the way thither. 

" Were you not surprised you did not hear from me ? " 
he said, following me. " I conclude so from your having 
sent me two letters. Goose ! not to remember that I'm 
never at home during vacation. Do you think I'm to 
stalk about the empty school-room, with false quantities 
and nonsense verses ringing in my ears, or play at push- 
pin in a corner with old Metcalfe ? " 

Ludlow was standing at the door when we reached the 
landing, and greeted the visiter with a bow of profound 
respect. 

" My good friend, I am very glad to see you," said 
Burridge, extending his hand. Nay, let us walk in and 
sit down. A lady here ? " turning to Ludlow. 

ee My wife," said Ludlow, confused. 

" I beg pardon — I was not aware " began Bur- 
ridge. 

<( Mrs. Ludlow, will you retire for a short time ? " in- 
terrupted Ludlow, handing her from the room. 

" Why, what occasion for that ? " cried Burridge ; " I 
didn't know you were one of the blest. 1 ' 

(i No, sir," replied poor Ludlow, looking down upon 
his thumbs. 

" Ho, ho ! " cried Burridge, (i I take you now\ A 
recent match. Your most obedient. Oh, Ludlow ! " 
shaking his finger. " Pray call back the bride. I wouldn't 
for the world 1 should have made her run away." 

Ludlow stood in evident distress. I walked up to Bur- 
ridge, and whispered — " I will tell all by-and-by. It is 
a sad story, sir." 

L 



146 RICHARD SAVAGE. 

<e Let us sit down," said Burridge. * And so, my good 
friend, your secret's out at last ; and Dick doesn't appear 
to be much the better for it. Mrs. Brett is his mother — 
the daughter of Lady Mason — urn." 

u We look to you to help us in this difficulty, sir/' 
said Ludlow. 

" There is no difficulty in the case/' said I. 6< We 
merely wish you, sir, to certify that I was committed to 
you by Lady Mason. Perhaps you have her letter ? " 

" Yes, sir," said Ludlow ; <( and you can vouch " 

<: One at a time," cried Burridge. " I have Lady 
Mason's letter by me. Here it is. It is plain enough. 
I wish yours, Dick, had been as precise. They contain 
an infinite quantity of nothing. Mrs. Brett was the di- 
vorced Countess of Macclesfield " 

" Oh ! she was," said Ludlow, between his teeth. 

C( And Lord Rivers " 

iC His father. Yes, Mr. Burridge ; his own father. 
And Lady Mason employed me " 

f4 I know all that," said Burridge. Where, then, is 
the difficulty ?" Lady Mason's word " 

(C She disowns him," cried Ludlow, with a flourish in 
the air ; " and has turned me away — her servant from a 
boy — because I will see justice done to him. And 1 will. 
Oh, sir ! can you believe in human wickedness ? " 

ie I can," replied Burridge. ec He must be a sceptic 
indeed, who, at my age, will not believe in that. But 
how is this, Dick, my boy, that they reject a fellow like 
you? D — n em (1 don't often swear), they've neither 
taste, spirit, nor humanity." 

" Neither, sir," said Ludlow ; " oh yes ; the woman 
has spirit. I wish I had its equal ; I'd spirit her — I'd 
make her all spirit." 

Burridge regarded him for a moment, earnestly . 
" Come," said he, turning to me ; " let us hear ever] 
thing that has happened to you since you left St. Albans." 

I entered into a minute detail of all that had occurred. 

(C Ah well !" said he, when I had concluded, " a com- 
plicated piece of business, truly. Colonel Brett, I take a. 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



147 



is nobody in the matter. Nevertheless, we must see him. 
Come along/' 

" And are you going to see Colonel Brett, sir ? " asked 
Ludlow. 

" Indeed 1 am." 

" Bless you, sir," cried Ludlow ; " you won't carry off 
Richard, sir, as you once threatened ? " 

u I don't know that I shall not/' replied Burridge ; 
ec but not at present, and perhaps not at all. You will 
see us again shortly." 

A coach was called, and we got into it. Ludlow's face 
looked radiant as we drove off. 

i( What ails that man, Ludlow ? " said Burridge : i{ he's 
greatly altered since I saw him last." 

" Do you think so?" said I. " I have not observed 
it. In what respect do you think him changed ? " 

iC I don't mean that he looks ill, but his manners are 
strangely different. There's a quickness and an angularity 
about his motions — and his eyes — pshaw! how shall I 
describe them ? they seem as though they were changing 
sockets every moment. fC What is this sad story you 
were to tell me ? " 

Burridge was silent for some minutes after I had 
finished the narrative of my poor friend. 

" My wife — my Harriet," he said, at length, half 
musingly, ie is a saint in heaven — I trust, and I believe 
it — but — tell me this, Richard — no, you are too young 
to answer the question — is this man to be despised for a 
fool, or to be commended as a true Christian hero — a 
Christian hero, such as Richard Steele never dreamed of? 
Upon my soul, Ludlow is a hero. I shall love him for 
it the rest of my life. Poor, poor fellow ! And your 
mother ! — 

' A ministering angel shall he be 
When she lies 

I was about to say something, Dick ; but it would have 
been Shakspeare's, not mine." 

" ' Howling/ you were about to say, sir," said I, 
laughing ; " 1 remember the passage. Indeed, I think 
she will." 

l 2 



148 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



ec Hush ! young man/' said Burridge gravely ; <c you 
must not talk thus. Remember, Mrs. Brett is your 
mother." 

c: I do/' said I, with bitterness,, i( and that I am her 
son." 

Burridge's reply was" prevented by the stoppage of the 
coach. 

We sent in our names, and were requested to walk into 
a private room. The colonel presently made his appear- 
ance, and upon seeing Burridge, burst into an exclamation 
of surprise. 

« What ! Frank ! " said he, " is it possible ? M em- 
bracing Burridge with warmth ; C( and turned pedagogue, 
too ! Why, we thought you were gone " 

cc Where little children are most welcome ? " said Bur- 
ridge, returning his friend's embrace indeed, but with 
something of constraint in his manner. " No, I am yet 
living, as you see. I have to thank myself for it." 

" Well, now, now," returned Brett — " let me know 
what you have been doing with yourself all the long years 
since the town lost you." 

" The town took little pains to find me again, I 
imagine," said Burridge, with a passing smile — there was 
a dash of scorn in it — " for the inquiries you made, 
Colonel Brett, I am sure I ought to thank you." 

The colonel was slightly disconcerted. 

<c It is not the way of the world," said he, lightly, " to 
interfere with any man's disposition of himself. 1 hope/' 
he added, assuming a stately air — " you have found your 
plan answer your purpose." 

" It has," returned Burridge ; M my purpose was to 
retire from a world in which I could no longer maintain 
the station 1 had held. I know the great world too well, 
and its ministers, w T ho are at the same time its minions, not 
to be sensible that a shoe-black will meet with more con- 
sideration than a gentleman in distress." 

" Humph ! " said the colonel. 

" I know not in what estimation pedagogues are held 
amongst you," resumed Burridge, " but here I am. You 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



149 



had not seen my countenance again, I can assure you, but 
for this pupil of mine. Let us go at once into his case." 

(C Sit down, child/' said the colonel, turning to me. 
H You know not, Mr. Burridge, what trouble this young 
gentleman gives me." 

Burridge returned a lofty stare. 

u After what has occurred, Brett, I did not expect to 
hear that from you. It was your own proposition that I 
should wait upon you. I am here. You wanted my con- 
firmation — here it is," handing Lady Mason's letter. 
" Colonel, we will be straight-forward in this business, if 
you please." 

The colonel read the letter, and returned it without 
comment. 

" The whipster," said he, with a yawn, "always comes 
in a tempest ; he nearly snapt my nose off at Button's — 
then he brought a gigantic tailor to me, who would have 
made my quietus with a bare bodkin ; and now, here are 

you -" 

u I began to feel a degree of contempt for this colonel, 
and was about to launch an angry retort, when, directing 
my eye at Burridge, I saw the devil gathering upon his brow. 

u It seems to me," said Burridge, with forced calmness, 
'* either that I do not see before me Colonel Brett, or 
that Colonel Brett supposes he does not see Francis Bur- 
ridge. I'd have you to know, sir — but you do know — that 
I am not to be trifled with. What do you mean by con- 
necting my name with that of a tailor ? " 

e( There now, Frank, be quiet," cried the colonel : " I 
beg your pardon — I did not mean to offend you. A 
pinch of your snuff." 

u Stand up, Richard Savage," exclaimed Burridge, 
rising ; and he led me towards the colenel, who also arose 

— " Colonel Brett, is it not a shame — a d d shame — 

that this young man should be treated as he has been ? " 

cc Not by me, I give you my honour," said the colonel. 

" Not by you ! but by one who is responsible, and ought 
to be subservient to you. I protest, before God, I never 
heard of such barbarous cruelty " 

" You are going too far — I think, upon reflection, you 
l 3 



150 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



will confess that/' cried the colonel. (i I have every dis- 
position to do the lad justice, but it is out of my province. 
Mrs. Brett has always been her own mistress, and her own 
mistress she will remain. What reasoning will do has been 
tried — has failed. She will not believe he is her son." 

6i That word 6 will ' is a good one/' returned Burridge. 
cc She will not believe. Stuff ! But she does believe, 
nevertheless. Will mustn't always have its own way. 
We have our wills, too. Let the lad see his mother/' 

{( Do I stand in the way of it ? " asked the colonel — 
" but he has seen her." 

i( But now/' urged Burridge, c< now that his — come, 
I must call it forbearance — has established an irresistible 
claim upon her gratitude. You know what I mean, colonel. 
That Wapping — pah ! What do you say? " 

The colonel reddened. 

<c If he pleases/' with a glance at me. 

"But I do not please, sir/' said I. "I have no wish 
to see Mrs. Brett ; and I presume she has a particular de- 
sire not to see me. I hope so." 

u It were hardly profitable," said the colonel. " Oil 
upon the flames, Frank ; a battle for the sake of the 
bruises." 

" Do you say so ? " cried Burridge, quickly. " Ah, 
well ! 99 elevating his eyes, and smacking his lips audibly. 
(c Let me wait upon the lady." 

" With all my heart," replied the colonel ; u if she will 
receive you, I shall be very happy. You see I do all I 
can for you," shrugging his shoulders, and spreading out 
his palms. 

He rang the bell. 

" Tell Mrs. Brett that Mr. Burridge, a particular friend 
of mine, is desirous of a few minutes' conversation with 
her." 

" Thank you, thank you," said Burridge ; u now you 
shall have a pinch of my snuff — the real Musty — which 
our friend Steele has written so much to set the town 
sneezing with." 

"Ah ! " remarked the colonel, shaking his head — k ' the 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



151 



hours we have spent together, Frank ! Dick's as brisk as 
ever — a hoy to the last with those he loves." 

The servant re-entered the room. 

" Mrs. Brett will be happy to see Mr. Burridge." 

" c Man is born to trouble, as the sparks fly upwards,' says 
the preacher," observed the colonel with much gravity, 
when Burridge had retired ; " but men might be very easy 
if men would let 'em. Now you, you rogue you, will have 
your share of trouble, I dare say ; but I think you will 
give it also." 

" I hope I shall," I replied sharply : " in one quarter, 
at least, it shall be my endeavour to do so." 

" Tut — tut," said the Colonel, " never encourage 
the angry passions — if you wish to be happy, away with 
'em ; if you want to be miserable, make much of 'em — - 
hug 'em ; and they'll hug you till death, and to death," 

The' colonel now drew me into talk. To say the truth 
of Brett, whom I often saw at a later period of my life — 
he was a man of extensive, if not of profound information, 
of easy and agreeable manners, with a perfect knowledge of 
the great world with which he associated, and to which his 
qualities recommended him, and to shine in which, it may 
be added, he was especially fitted, both by nature and edu- 
cation. He it was who taught me — unconscious teacher ! 
— to despise thoroughly, heartily, " those little creatures 
we are pleased to call the great ;" to contemn the ignoble 
arrogance of mere rank — to scorn the self-sufficient (suf- 
ficient to nought beside) insolence of those who lay claim 
to honourable distinctions, which are alone due (alas ! not 
always paid) to talent, genius, and to virtue. It is saying 
something for the colonel, to admit that he never brought 
me to despise him. 

To return. I could not but remark, during our present 
talk, that the colonel omitted — I know not whether pur- 
posely — all reference to the promise he had held out to me 
during my former interview with him, of doing something 
for me. I did not refresh his memory, or alarm his 
prudence. 

" You may take it as a signal mark of Frank Burridge's 
friendship for you," he said atlength, drawing out his watch, 
l 4 



15 c 2 



RICHARD SATAGE. 



" that he submits to be closeted with a lady nearly an hour 
on your account. There was but one woman in the world 
for Burridge — his wife. He could lose no more after that 
loss. Honest Frank ! And so thou hast turned Syntaxist ! 
How Steele will claw his periwig at that ! He'll bring 
him into the Spectator. What shall it be ? Let us see, 
e Flagellifer is a man who 

At this moment, Burridge bounced into the room. He 
seized his hat and cane. " Come, Richard, let us be gone. 
Brett, your hand. I thank you. Good-by." 

u Well but, particulars/' cried the colonel ; " what 
has been said, what has been done ?" 

£c You will hear all that above — more said than done, 
colonel. " 

w But where are you staying ? You must have a night 
with us. Steele will be delighted " 

" I know he would. I love Steele — pray tell him so ; 
but I would not for the world renew, even for an hour — 
ah, well ! — past — past. It would make me unhappy." 

Burridge was unusually taciturn as we drove back to 
Ludlow's lodging. 

ec I will tell you by-and-by," he replied to my urgent 
inquiries touching his interview with my mother, fixing his 
eyes upon me with a look of sorrowful commiseration. 

When the door of the house was opened, he scrambled 
up stairs without ceremony, and burst into the room. 
Ludlow's wife was sitting by the fire, but started up in 
some confusion. 

e: Where is Mr. Ludlow, madam ? M said Burridge. 
scanning her intently from head to foot — " I hope he is 
not gone out ? " 

" He will be here directly," she replied, in a flutter : 
<6 I will go seek him." 

Ludlow, indeed, had followed us up stairs, and had 
witnessed Burridge's ungallant scrutiny of his wife. 

" Oh Dick," he said, drawing me aside, " you have 
told him. He's a moral man, and thinks I have done 
wrong." 

Ci Ha ! you're here," cried Burridge, turning round : a a 
few minutes' private conversation with you, if you please," 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



153 



Mrs. Ludlow took the hint, and retired hastily. 

f4 Now, Ludlow," said Burridge, walking up to him, 
" I feel this to be one of the most solemn moments of my 
life. If it be, and upon my soul it is — to me who am in 
no way connected with this young man — to you who are, 
as it were, involved with him, it must be the most so- 
lemn/' 

" What do you mean ? " faltered Ludlow, turning very 
pale. 

" Lay your hand upon your heart, and repeat after me, 
if you can, these words : — I swear, as I am a living man, 
as I hope for peace in this world and pardon in the next, 
the young man before me is the son of Mrs. Brett — is the 
child committed to me by Lady Mason/' 

Ludlow pronounced the words calmly and distinctly. 
ce But what is the meaning of this, Mr. Burridge ? " he 
inquired. 

Burridge laid his hand upon the shoulders of the other, 
and gazed into his face earnestly. " I believe you, good 
fellow," he said, ei entirely believe you. Ah, well ! wor- 
thy, honest creature/' He turned aside in emotion. 

Ci Ludlow," he resumed, (C I must have five minutes' 
talk with you alone — not here — not in the house. 
Where can we go ? " 

u Dixon's Coffee House," I suggested. 

ff It is hard by, sir," said Ludlow, taking his hat. 

" When I have done with him, I'll send for you, Dick. 
Lady Macbeth nursed her own children, she has told us. 
I must take her into my books, I think. Loved her hus- 
band, too. Come, come, not so bad." 

I marvelled much at Burridge's present proceeding. It 
was altogether unlike him — this secrecy — or rather, this 
separate disclosure of circumstances that might be unfolded 
at once. 

It was, however, useless to expostulate with him ; for 
Burridge was one of those men who will have their own 
way, and who talk of the pig-headedness of the world. 

Whilst I sat awaiting with some impatience the return 
of Ludlow, his wife suddenly entered the room. She had 
on her bonnet and cloak. 



154 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



" I am going out, Mr. Savage, but shall be back in a 
very short time." 

" Had you not better stay till Mr. Ludlow returns ? I 
expect him every instant. You look very unwell — what 
is the matter? " 

I sought to detain the woman ; partly because I was not 
sure that Ludlow would approve her going out ; but chiefly 
that there was something in her manner that awakened, not 
my suspicion indeed, but my curiosity. She had, it is 
true, gone abroad several times since her convalescence, and 
upon two occasions had stayed away a considerable time ; 
but she had explained to Ludlow's satisfaction the cause of 
her detention ; and she had never, heretofore, left the 
house without his permission. 

ce I am sure," said I, u you are not well enough for a 
walk to-day. Come," I added, smiling, " you must let 
me play the physician " — and I placed my back against 
the door — c: no stirring abroad to-day." 

Ci But I must," she replied quickly ; Ci pray let me pass 
you." 

ce No. Of what importance are a few minutes ? Lud- 
low shall decide whether you may be trusted out." 

<c Trusted ! " she repeated, with a momentary glance at 
me ; for her eyes, on meeting mine, were instantly cast 
upon the floor. She endeavoured at composure, but vainly. 
I led her to a seat. 

cc That tall, handsome gentleman was your school- 
master, was he not?" she said at length. 

Ci He was." 

" Mr. Ludlow tells me that he took you to see Mrs. 
Brett. Did you see her ? " 
" I did not." 
" Nor Mr. Burridge ? " 
" Mr. Burridge did see her." 

et And what did she say to him ? " she asked hastily, 
rising from her seat. 

ei I don't know. He has not told me." 

A rapid step was heard upon the stairs. cc Lord have 
mercy — it's James ! " exclaimed the woman, retreating to 
the further part of the room. 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



155 



The door, at this instant, was burst open, and Ludlow 
rushed in headlong, his clenched hands raised, his face not 
pale, livid — his lips working convulsively. He could not 
bring forth a word for some time. At length, he cried, 
shrieked, rather, " Down on your knees — down on your 
knees — not you, hellish woman, but you, you, Richard 
Savage, down upon your knees and curse that bitter, bitter 
beast — that unthankful " 

He sprang towards her. With a piercing scream she 
eluded the grasp he made at her throat, and dropping a 
small box which she had concealed under her cloak, 
dashed past him, and ran out of the room — out of the 
house. 

Baffled of his vengeance, I suppose — but I know not 
the instigation — Ludlow struck his head violently against 
the wall, and fell upon his knees, with a heavy groan, on 
the floor. 

(C Gracious God ! " I exclaimed, bending over him, 
u what is the meaning of this ? For Heaven's sake, tell 
me ; I can't bear to see you thus. Dear Ludlow, get up." 

He waved me from him. 

ie Leave me — leave me. It is not this fooFs head, but 
this greater fool's heart that is broken — broken through — 
to pieces — crushed. Dig me a grave and let me crawl 
into it — oh ! to think ! " pressing his hands against his 
temples — "I must not think. Would I could go mad 
— I will go mad." 

t€ Compose yourself," I said. 6C Where have you left 
Burridge ? What has he told you ? What has your 
wife done ? " 

s * Done ? " he exclaimed ; " that which all the devils 
in hell are clapping their hands at. They'll have her; 
but they won't laugh then, when they do have her. She's 
too wicked for 'em. But the world will laugh at me — 
you amongst them. And you'll hate and curse me, too. 
You will, and I deserve it. Go from me. I have no 
friend in the world/' 

I was moved. " Oh yes ! you have ; in me you have 
a sincere friend. Come, let me lead you to a chair. Look 
up, and tell me you will be calm." 



156 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



He raised his head, and gazed upon me. There was 
something so inexpressibly touching in his face — it was 
so utterly wo-begone — so full of anguish, that I could not 
refrain from tears. 

On beholding these marks of my sympathy, the wretched 
man burst into a passion of weeping, so loud, so vehement, 
so frightful, that I became terrified. I called aloud for the 
Greaveses. They were at their respective posts at the 
head of the stairs, and now came forward alarmed, but 
alert for horror. 

After a time the shocking paroxysm began to subside. 
" Leave me," he said, when they had helped him to a 
chair. " Go away, and leave me." 

ie But we shan't leave you now, till you're better,'' said 
Mrs. Greaves : " make yourself comfortable now, for the 
sake of the young gentleman you've almost frightened out 
of his seven senses. Lord ha' mercy ! " in a whisper, 
nudging me, " I thought he'd done it — truth. I couldn't 
ha' cut him down in a month." 

c( But 1 could," said Greaves, who had joined his head 
to ours ; Ci once, sir " 

" The room goes round with me," said Ludlow, vaguely. 
Ci Where is Richard ? " 

I took his hand. 

" Go to Mr. Burridge, he wants particularly to see 
you. 1 should have told you before. I shall be better 
soon. These good people will stay with me ; won't you, 
my friends ? " 

" To be sure we will," cried Mrs. Greaves ; u there's a 
brave man. Now, cheer up, do. Have you got any 
brandy in the house ? Go to your friend, Mr. Savage ; 
we'll doctor him up while you're gone." 

I directed Greaves to the closet, in which some brandy 
was to be found, and hastened to Burridge, impatient to 
learn the cause of Ludlow's frenzy, and wondering how it 
could be, that Burridge had not accompanied him home. 

I found him pacing the room to and fro, swinging his 
watch in the air round and round. 

" I was coming after you," he said, " but the sight of 
that other woman would have been too much for me. You 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



157 



have kept me waiting, and I don't like it. I've another 
engagement, and shall be too late. How is it — since 
you waited to hear it all — is the woman guilty or not 
guilty ? " 

" I hardly know what you mean/' I replied ; " I only 
know that you have told Ludlow something that has driven 
him well-nigh mad.'' 

" How ! " said he — " impossible. He heard what I had 
to say, not calmly, certainly ; for what human being 
but must have been shocked at the cursed infamy ? but he 
heard me in silence. When I had finished, he took my 
hands between his own, and said, quietly, " Forgive me, 
sir, that I presume to take this liberty with you ; but I 
feel grateful that you did not tell me this before Richard. 
It shall be set straight, Mr. Burridge, rely upon it," and so 
saying, he took his hat and went his way. 

<e But what did you tell him ? " I inquired. 

" You shall hear. Oh, Dick ! if you have a drop of 
that woman's blood in your body, let it out, and recruit 
your veins with poison ; it were less pernicious. Beau- 
tiful wretch ! what an ugly soul it has. Why, she has 
been lying to me — uttering base, nasty lies — lying, the 
vilest meanness of which a created being can be guilty. 
She said you were not her son — that you are an impostor; 
that you had been put upon this scheme of extortion, as she 
called it, by Ludlow. All this 1 expected to hear. But 
she said further, that Mrs. Ludlow was prepared to swear 
that you were her child — that Ludlow was your father. 
That the woman had voluntarily confessed thus much to 
her. She has a paper to that effect, drawn up by herself, 
and signed, she said, by the woman. She offered to show 
it to me, but I declined to look upon it. Well, I told all 
this to your poor friend." 

I had no room in my heart for resentment against the 
infamous woman at that moment — it was overflowing 
with compassion for Ludlow. 

tC Oh, sir !" said I, iC that you had permitted me to be 
the first to hear this. I dread the consequences to the best 
creature breathing. I know his nature ; it will go hard 
with him — I am certain of it." 



158 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



c{ Stuff! " cried Burridge ; (C why, it cannot be true : 
you cannot believe it to be true ? " 

" That Mrs. Brett has such a paper in her possession, 
and that the woman has signed it, I do assuredly believe/ ' 
said I ; and I made him acquainted with her flight. " But 
it is a sorry device, and will gain credit nowhere. My 
face vouches for me, I believe." 

H And so it does ; and I don't like you the better for 
it. But who could have believed it possible that two such 
women could exist in the same age, in the same country, 
and be employed in the same work — laying their two 
hideous hearts together, to out-do Satan ? Upon my 
soul, it troubles me. There, go to Ludlow — comfort him. 
If he's a man, he will shake the creature from his memory 
with scorn. For the dignity of his own nature, he must 
do so. Upon my soul, it would go far to make a man 
weep, however great a philosopher he might be, to dwell 
upon this. I will call upon you to-night." 

I hastened from him. 

Reader, this Ludlow — this foolish, weak, milk-and- 
water man — has excited, haply, rather your contempt than 
your pity. I fear this ; although, to tell you the truth, I 
have endeavoured to preserve him against the former, and 
to secure the latter for him. To this end I purposely 
forbore to record much that took place on the night in 
which he supposed his wife to be dying. How entirely, 
how tenderly he forgave her ; how he wept over her, and 
blessed her ; how, with a woman's unwearied care he 
tended her till she was out of danger. Reflect, then, not so 
much upon his weakness, as upon her wickedness, which is 
of a complexion so deep, that fiction would not dare to 
paint it. Methinks I hear somebody whisper, who has more 
intolerance of fools, than wise men encourage, iC the fool is 
worthy of his fate, and it of him." But, since prosperous 
fools are often smiled upon, one sigh for the wretched 
Ludlow ! 



END OP THE FIRST VOLUME. 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



159 



SECOND VOLUME. 



CHAPTER I. 

RICHARD SAVAGE UNADVISEDLY REJECTS A LIBERAL OFFER, WITH 
AN INSTANCE OF THE TRIUMPH OF WICKEDNESS, SHOWN IN THE 
DISTRACTION AND DEATH OF ITS VICTIM. 

On my way home, I met Mr. Greaves, who had been de- 
spatched by his wife, post haste, to fetch me. 

ec Oh ! come along — come along, sir," said he, " or 
you'll be too late. I'm sure I wonder we have escaped 
with our lives." 

<e Why, what's the matter, Mr. Greaves ? " I inquired. 

" It's no use mincing the matter, sir ; Mr. Ludlow's gone 
ramping mad. We can do nothing with him ; but what 
he'd have done with us if we hadn't got out of his way, 
the Lord alone can tell." 

" Where have you left him ? Not alone, I hope ? " 

" Yes, sir, alone," said Greaves. " Better do himself a 
mischief than unoffending persons, who don't wish to be 
cut off in the prime of their days." 

I quickened my pace. " Will you be so kind as to fetch 
Mr. Digby, instantly ? " 

He nodded his head slowly. " When you left us," he 
said, " Mrs. Greaves prevailed upon him to swallow a glass 
of brandy, which he did, and then another. And then, sir, 
he took her round the waist — I thought he was going to 
salute her — and said she was the best woman in the world 
— all the others were not worth a rush, he said. He 
seemed to harp upon the words ' rush ' and < women,' and 
all of a sudden, jumped up, nearly screwing off Mrs. 
Greaves's little finger, for he had her by the hand, and 



160 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



c Where is she ? ' he asks. e Why here I am, to be sure, 
good sir/ says my wife. She'd better have said nothing, 
or something more to the purpose, sir ; for his face changed 
dreadfully at that, and he clenched his fists; and if we 
hadn't scrambled out of the room and down stairs, at the 
hazard of our necks, it would have been 6 Where's she ? ' 
and * Where's he ? ' too, with a vengeance. He'd have 
murdered us. He was quiet when I came away. But 
here's Mr. Digby's shop/' 

"Bring him directly," said I. <f Not a moment must 
be lost." 

Mrs. Greaves, as I passed along the passage, protruded 
her head through the half- opened door of her own room. 
(e You may venture up now, Mr. Savage," whispering ; 
" it's all over by this time, I fear." 

I ascended the stairs in silence, and opening the door 
cautiously, entered the room. Ludlow had divested him- 
self of his coat and waistcoat, his cravat and wig, and was 
walking, or rather gliding, about the apartment with an open 
razor in one hand, while the other was tightly clenched upon 
his throat. His under jaw had fallen, and his eyes were 
vacant, sightless, blear. So horrible a spectacle I had never 
seen, and never afterwards beheld — but once. 

Although in excessive apprehension of what he had 
already done, or might attempt to do, I approached towards, 
but behind, him on tiptoe, and suddenly seizing his arm, 
wrested the razor from his hand, which I flung to the fur- 
ther end of the room. This aroused him from his seeming 
trance. An instantaneous light shot into his eyes, and from 
them, as though a devil were looking out of them, and set- 
ting up a wild howl, he made up to me, and closing with 
me, endeavoured to drag me to the ground. I was tall and 
strong of my age, and the occasion needed an exertion of 
my whole strength. With difficulty, and after some time, 
I succeeded in grasping his wrists, which I held firmly. 

"I have you now, infamous wretch !" he exclaimed ; 
ee you cannot escape me. You think to deceive me with 
your disguises, do you ? But no, you have done that for 
the last time. Do I not know that eye — that direful face ? 
Ho ! ho ! Mrs. Brett, have I found you out ? You may 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



161 



look grim ; but we must now see your heart, madam — 
your heart, which I mean to have out — which is hidden, 
but I've seen it, like a dead man's skull, in that bosom of 
yours." 

He now redoubled his exertions, and at one time had 
well nigh mastered me. 

<e Don't you know me, Ludlow," I cried. " I am your 
friend, Richard Savage. You would not harm me, I am 
sure of that — your friend Richard/' 

He paused, and stared at me. u That's true/' nodding 
his head ; " I wouldn't harm him. He's gone to Bur- 
ridge, who'll take him back to St. Albans, where he'll be 
out of harm's way." 

He suffered me to lead him to a chair. 

" When I have killed the two hags," said he, " I'll dig 
up Bennett's grave, and tumble their carcasses into it. 
What a mound of infamous sin there'll be then ! Faugh ! 
No one will be able to walk through the churchyard, except 
me. No one will be buried in it. And I'll go and tell 
Lady Mason what I've done ; and Dick'll come into all 
the property, of course — and high time he did." 

Mr. Digby now entered the room, followed at a distance, 
and with much wariness, by Greaves and his wife. 

ec I know that man," cried Ludlow, starting up. " He's 
the man that saved her life. Tell me what a man deserves 
who saves a life which God has called for ? I know you, 
Digby : stand off. " 

" You know me very well," said Digby, stepping for- 
ward with professional urbanity. " Mr. Ludlow and I are 
very good friends — are we not ? Come, my dear sir ; you 
are not very well. Let me feel your pulse. We shall be 
better soon, I dare say." 

So saying, he would have taken his hand ; but Ludlow 
rapidly withdrew it, and dealt him such a slap upon the 
face as made him skip to the other end of the room. 

" You see I know how to deal with ''em," cried Ludlow. 
u Ha, Dick ! is that you ? Sit by me. It is our turn now." 

Having secured his hands, I looked towards Digby, who 
stood rubbing his visage as well as Greaves and his wife 
would permit him ; that worthy pair having pinioned his 

M 



162 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



arms, stood peering into his face with looks of affectionate 
solicitude. 

At length, Digby somewhat roughly disengaged himself 
from his officious comforters. <e If staring at my chaps/' 
said he, c< would heal them, those huge eyes of yours would 
have done it before this. Step, Greaves, into the street, 
and call in two strong chairmen. The man's mad ! " 

" I thought so/' said Greaves, retiring. 

" I know'd it when I first clapped eyes on him," said 
his wife. " All the teeth loosened, sir ? " 

" Hang it madam, no ! " said Digby. u Hold him fast, 
if you can, young gentleman, till the men come. Is this 
brandy ? " helping himself to a glass. " This fastens the 
teeth and loosens the tongue, Mrs. Greaves. Your very 
good health ; and may you never have such another cuff." 

" Lord ha' mercy on my three poor grinders, if I was," 
said Mrs. Greaves, with a shrug. C( It's as much as I can 
do now to get through my victuals/' 

Greaves now returned with two strong fellows, who, by 
Digby's orders, came forward and secured Ludlow. He 
resigned himself to them quietly, saying, fC You cannot 
hang me till I've had my trial. I know I've done it — 
and there's another you'll find, if you look after her. But 
when judge and jury come to know all, they'll say I've 
done right. It can't be helped now, however." 

Digby bled the poor creature so copiously, that he fainted ; 
and having placed a strait-waistcoat upon him, he was 
got to bed ; and a strong opiate being administered, he 
presently fell into a profound slumber, out of which he did 
not awake for many hours. 

In the evening, Burridge called upon me. He was greatly 
distressed at the lamentable situation in which he found 
Ludlow. 

<c Ah, well !" said he, with a deep sigh, " we are not 
all men alike, and have not the same to bear — the weakest 
often the most. What says the doctor? " 

" Shakes his head, sir." 

ei I never knew the meaning of that. It's profound — 
ignorance, I take it, Richard. Very safe, nevertheless. 
Like shaking a box without dice — you can't lose by it " 

He drew me to the window, abruptly. 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



163 



" Now listen to me," said he, very seriously — " I am 
about to make a proposal to you. which deserves your best 
attention. This is no place for you. Ludlow is a very 
worthy fellow, but he can do you no good. You must go 
back with me. I will prepare you for Cambridge, and you 
shall be sent thither at my expense. You must not be lost 
to me, to yourself, to the world. What do you say ? " 

I thanked him heartily, but declined. 

" Could I leave my friend in this state ? " said I ; " no, 
that must not be. I cannot desert him." 

" Desert him ! " cried Burridge ; " Heaven forbid I 
should counsel you to do that. He will recover. This is 
a paroxysm, and will not last. Has he no friends to look 
to him ? " 

ee None in the world/' 

" Ah, well ! so much the better, perhaps, unless they did 
look to him. Friends ! I could as soon believe in the 
existence of ghosts/' 

u Then you may believe in ghosts/' I replied ; Ci I my- 
self have seen a friend. His name is Burridge/' 

iC You rascal ! " he cried, i( I won't care a straw for 
you, if you don't do as I please. That's my friendship. 
Come ; you shall stay with Ludlow till he recovers., and 
then you shall come to me." 

I ought to have hesitated — to have weighed his pro- 
posal. I know it. But I answered at once, — 

" No, sir, it cannot be. I am grateful to you ; but it 
cannot be." 

" Why ? " 

u Mr. Burridge," said I, " partly you know my nature. 
Until lately, I did not myself know it. I am resolved sir, 
bent — unalterably so — upon bringing the woman, my 
mother, to shame — to a sense of her own shame. To a 
sense of the world's scorn I will bring her, if she be lost 
to the other. I will not leave her, or lose her, or loose 
her, until she has acknowledged me. She shall do it. 
What care I for her plots or her stratagems ? I can plot 
— and I can devise stratagems. I hate her : she (shall 
know it — she shall feel it — she shall fear it — and then 
1 shall despise her, and I will tell her so/' 
m 2 



164 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



" It is shocking ! " exclaimed Burridge, " to see a face 
so young obscured, deformed by hateful passions. What 
do you mean, Richard — Savage, do you call yourself — 
Savage, indeed ! You hate your mother ? You love her, 
or you would not copy her. Take care, lest she despise 
you. We cannot see ourselves above the eyes — our 
noblest part, the head, is hidden from us — but we can 
see others. She will see you. This hate is a game at 
which all lose. Come, come ; let it go by. No one can 
injure a man so much as himself. Ill make you indif- 
ferent to her, and when you are, you shall tell her as much. 
She will like that least of all." 

I turned away. " I thank you, sir." 

(C Why," said Burridge, (e there's your old enemy — 
pshaw ! what a fool am I ! your old schoolfellow, Sinclair, 
is gone to Oxford, and bids fair to come forth a gentle- 
man and a scholar. Dick, you shall be both — I will have 
it so." 

" You distress me, sir," said I, ee by pressing an obli- 
gation upon me which I cannot, which indeed I am not 
willing to lie under. I must not leave London. If I am 
to rise in the world — to make a figure in the world, as it 
is called — it shall be through my own exertions alone." 

iC So said the man who climbed the maypole while his 
friends were eating the leg of mutton, " returned Burridge. 
" Richard " — drawing himself up — (C I will press you 
no further. Ah, well ! froward, not forward — spelt with 
the same letters, and yet the difference ! Two men shall 
command the same talents — and one shall lie in down, the 
other die on a dunghill. Froward — not forward ! " 

He pressed my hand warmly, though apparently 
offended. 

Ci Commend me to that good fellow. I hope, Richard, 
you may not repent your refusal of my offer." 

" Shall I not see you again before you leave London ? " I 
inquired. 

u I go to-morrow morning. I would see you, if I thought 
you would change your mind, We change in a night some- 
times." 

I shook my head* 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



165 



fC Richard/' said he, descending the stairs, " should 
anybody ask you where you went to school, be sure you 
don't tell them." 

" And why not, sir ? " 

cc You might do me an injury. You are like Shaks- 
peare ; you have little Latin and less Greek." 
" An instance in my favour/' said 1. 
He frowned sternly upon me. 

ec Did Briareus wear gloves, or Argus spectacles ? " he 
demanded : (e the eyes of the one were not weak — the 
hands of the other were not tender — and Briareus had 
store of hands, and Argus had eyes to spare. Get Shaks- 
peare's eyes and hands — and hrains — and I shall hold 
up my hands and eyes, and cudgel my brains, to know 
where you got yours from, and why you hadn't made bet- 
ter use of them now. Go, go ; I'm ashamed of* you, Dick ; 
and yet — God bless you ! " 

And so he left me. 

I could not gainsay a word that had fallen from Bur- 
ridge. I was sensible of that at the time, and almost re- 
pented me, when he was gone, that I had declined his 
kind and benevolent offer. But, presently, the reasons that 
had induced me to do so returned with added force when 1 
visited Ludlow's bedside, and beheld the ravage, the 
wreck, the ruin that lay before me, and which her hands 
had worked. To think upon it now, I cannot calmly ; 
yet, let me be calm — what if I am ? it comes to this — 
may Heaven renounce me if I forgive her, till Heaven has for- 
given her for that ! And still, Burridge had spoken to the 
purpose ; and, but that my cursed pride prevented it, as 
circumstances befell — unhappily befell — I might have 
availed myself of his proposal. I have since bitterly re- 
gretted that I did not ; insomuch that had I been at any 
time of my life a weeper and wailer, and had I possessed 
the hands and eyes of which Burridge had spoken, every 
hand had been raised, with a handkerchief in each, to 
every eye many times. But a man's sorrows are not to be 
lessened this way. " All hands to the pump " — is very 
well ; but to stop the leak is still better. 

And, now, what vain regrets were these to which I ac- 
m 3 



166 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



knowledge ; as, indeed, all regrets are vain ; and how 
thoroughly I despise the vanity of them, and the weakness 
that betrayed me into their acknowledgment. For, cannot 
I remember — and my memory readily thrusts them to 
the surface — many men whom I have known, who, with 
all the advantages of education that Burridge could have 
provided for me, have, nevertheless, approved themselves 
the dullest dogs that ever took nothing in and brought 
nothing out of their impenetrable skulls ? And have I not, 
moreover, known men, who, with all these boasted advan- 
tages, have suffered as much as myself — or, if not so much, 
it was not their education that saved them. For instance, 
(and he will yet be known and honoured when this hand 
is dust and ashes, and when this heart, which now beats 
kindly, full of his memory, is nought — let me, for the sake 
of human nature, believe this!) how do I know that Samuel 
Johnson — a man of great learning, of vast acquirements, 
of infinite sagacity, of comprehensive sense, and, above all, 
of the most enlarged humanity, is not at this moment 
(bless and preserve him wherever he may be !) wandering 
the long, cheerless, ungrateful streets of London, having 
not where to lay his head — that head which contains more 
than half the heads in that city, which are now reposing 
upon soft and luxurious pillows ; and more, ten times over, 
than all the dreary, anxious, over- scratched polls of the 
poetasters whose lucubrations may have contributed to that 
repose. 

To resume. When Ludlow awoke — perhaps I should 
with greater propriety say, when he ceased to sleep, he be- 
gan to talk incoherently of many things, and out of many 
passions. Now, he was colloquial and familiar, and spoke of 
indifferent and trivial events ; then he would burst forth 
into triumphant exultation over Bennett, whom he had, as 
he imagined, killed in a duel ; then he ran on about his wife's 
coffin, which he had sealed up, lest she should escape the 
awful session of the day of judgment ; of Freeman and 
his wife — of myself — of Mrs. Brett, with her heart 
in her hand, and she compelled to gaze upon it for ever 
and ever — no hell equal to that (this was his unvarying 
description of her). And there was more, much moiv of 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



167 



similar dreadful and incongruous talk, during the four days 
he lay in this deplorable state, which I have discharged 
from my memory, but which, at the time, I thought was 
never to be forgotten. If any thing could increase the ab- 
horrence I already felt for his wife, it was the fact which 
I could not but infer from his frequent allusion to it, as 
though in pathetic appeal to her — of his having frequently 
sought her out during the last few years, and relieved her 
distresses. 

Digby was a skilful and a humane man. He drew me 
aside on the third day of my friend's malady, and plainly, 
but with much concern, informed me that he feared his 
case was hopeless, and that he must be sent to Bedlam. I 
begged hard for further time, willing to hope (and youth 
is too willing to hope) that he was not in so bad a way as 
he had been represented to be ; and, at length, I obtained a 
respite of three further days. 

It was on the morning of the fifth day that a change for 
the better was observable in him. He was for the most 
part tranquil, occasionally stirring, and feeling abroad as if 
to clutch consciousness towards him. Methought, as I hung 
over him, I could discover reason slowly, painfully, but 
surely injecting itself into his brain. Nor was I deceived. 
He opened his eyes, and looking intently upon me for some 
time, gently uttered my name. I spoke to him. 

" Where have I been ? Where am I ? Oh ! I know — 
that's all right — I am here. You are Richard Freeman ? " 

" Richard Savage, now," said I ; " you remember me, 
don't you ? " 

ee Richard Savage ! yes — so you are " — pressing my 
hand ; ee you won't leave me?" 

" I will not — but you must not talk now. The doctor 
will be here presently." 

" The doctor ! Then I have been ill ! why to be sure I 
have — and yet — Richard, do you know, I have been 
living the whole of my past life over again — but all a 
jumble — all out of the order of time ; and other terrible 
things have been added to it." 

€< Pray be quiet now," said I ; " you have been very ill ; 
but you are now better." 

m 4 



168 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



" Why," and he started up suddenly, but fell back again, 
" 1 have been mad — out of my senses. Oh ! God of 
mercy ! Save me from that — let me not die in that. 
How long have I been lying here — lying thus — mad ? " 

"Only a few days — compose yourself: the worst is 
over now." 

He muttered something. " Only a few days ! I would 
have every good Christian pray for me. Madness ! mad- 
ness ! a strong devil that. I'll wrestle with him." 

It was well for him, probably, that Digby visited him 
shortly afterwards. The doctor reasoned with him, or 
rather, gently proposed, submitted sensible ideas to his mind, 
which his as yet struggling reason could lay hold upon ; and 
by a process of delicate induction restored him to the con- 
dition of a human being. Enjoining upon him and upon 
me an absolute avoidance of all topics that might most 
likely irritate and excite him, he took his leave, with a whis- 
pered assurance to me of Ludlow's speedy recovery. 

" 1 will strictly obey Mr. Digby," said he, during the 
afternoon ; (( but you must tell me this. Who was it that 
prevented me from cutting my throat ? " 

" No matter," said I — " you must get well as soon as 
you can, and then you shall know all." 

cc I must know that now, or I am still mad," he replied 
quickly. " The thing haunts me. I had a razor, I know." 

c: Well, well, and it was taken from you. Is not that 
sufficient ?" 

" Sufficient ! he said, reproachfully ; " another moment, 
and I had been a lost man — a lost soul — beyond redemp- 
tion. I will tell you. But, first — I did not injure her ? " 

u Your wife ? — no." 

ee I am glad of it. When I got back from Mr. Burridge, 
I must have lost my senses ; not quite lost them — they 
were going from me. Something whispered to me to make 
away with myself — to end what I felt to be insupportable. 
But presently, I remember that — a sense of the enormity 
of the act crossed — like lightning crossed — my mind. I 
ran and fetched my razor, intending to fling it out of the 
window. Can you believe it ? Tell me not there are no 
evil spirits walking the earth, trying the strong, tempting the 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



169 



weak — for I was tempted. I could not but open the razor 
— do all I could, open it must be — open it would. And 
when I had opened it — my throat bare — a fiend at my 
arm thrusting the blade towards it — a ton of blood upon 
my brains — ha ! " shuddering, and shrinking beneath the 
clothes — " it was that made me mad." 

I soothed him as well as I could, and at last succeeded in 
restoring him to something like calmness. 

And now the doctor took me aside once more. 

" Mr. Savage," said he, " I fear no longer for your 
friend's reason ; that is perfectly re-established ; but I have 
many and great fears for his life." 

<<r Good God ! you alarm me/' said I — for I had thought 
him considerably better ; — u why, doctor, he appears to 
me more cheerful than I have ever known him." 

" It is not the cheerfulness of this world," said Digby : 
" I wish it were. No, sir, cheerful as you may think him, 
that man's heart is broken ; to speak in a figure, the spring 
is snapt. Out of that bed he will never rise again." 

I glanced towards it. Ludlow was asleep. It was a 
light, calm sleep. The tears sprang to my eyes. 

" You must permit me to ask a question/' resumed 
Digby, " for I take an interest in my patient. The lady I 
attended was his wife — so the people below have told me. 
May I ask why she is not here ? She must be sent for." 

Wherefore should I not publish the woman's infamy ? 
I told Digby every thing. 

" O Lord ! O Lord ! bless us and save us," cried he ; u I 
thought from what he said when I got it on the chaps, that 
there was something amiss. Why, sir, this is a very sad 
story, and will make me pray on my pillow to-night. I 
would rather have killed her for nothing than be paid hand- 
somely for saving an honest woman. His wife has killed 
him, sir, as surely as though she had given him poison. 
Many a murder done without lead or steel. I have known 
many in my time ; and the murderers go to church, and 
are made overseers, and sit on juries, and go to see their 
betters hanged ; eh ? eh ? — true with his finger to the 
side of his nose. " Now, here is the case of a woman. 
What will you lay she doesn't turn religious one of these 



170 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



days, and consort with snufflers and raisers of eyes, and talk 
of the wickedness of the world, of which she will be able to 
talk knowingly ? What ! your face seems to say she's too 
far gone for that. Well, Death will reach her at last ; and 
come too soon for her, though he come at doomsday." 

My heart was heavy when Digby left me, and I sat 
down by Ludlow's bed-side. 

ec How do you feel now?" I inquired, when he awoke. 
There was a serenity,, almost angelic, upon his countenance. 

te Better than ever I did in my life, my dear and con- 
stant friend Dick, who are ever near me," he replied ; " so 
light, so airy, as it were. Why, I feel as though I should 
be wafted into the air, if I were to attempt to walk. I 
have been asleep ; but what a dream has my life been ! 
All passing away — well ; so that you were not left behind, 
I should be quite happy. If an humble, ignorant man, like 
myself, might presume to advise you — to guide you, 
Richard " 

ec You shall do so — oh, Ludlow ! " 

" No, I might be wrong, after all. / guide ! I ad- 
vise ! What, then, brought me to this, my death-bed ? 
My wisdom ? Will human presumption never have an 
end, Dick?" he added, more calmly, u I wish to see Mr. 
Myte." 

66 Shall I fetch him ? Will not to-morrow do ? It is 
too late, to-night." 

f< To-morrow will do, I dare say ; but I will tell you 
now why I wish to see him. The money I have saved is 
in his hands. It was honestly got, and will be properly 
left — to the grandson of my dear mistress — for dear she 
is to me, who had been nothing without her." 

I was about to expostulate ; for, to say the truth, I felt 
I had no claim to the money. 

<e I have no relations in the world," laying his hand 
upon my arm ; cc if I had, it might be different. I shall 
leave my wife nothing, for, if 1 were, it would be mis- 
spent. You must know that when she first went wrong 
— I can talk calmly of it now — it hurt me very much, 
and my mind was turned to a consideration of the in- 
fluence of bad example upon young minds. I had, even 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



171 



then, saved some money. Well,, I lodged it in Mr. Myte's 
hands, and with it a will, devising the whole of it, whatever 
the sum might be that I had accumulated when I died, to 
the Society for the Reformation of Manners ; and many a 
joke has the pleasant little man made at my expense, on 
account of my will, which I now wish to cancel. He can 
tell me in a moment the exact amount I have in his hands. 
In the mean while, take all that is in the house — in the 
box, I mean, which was picked up. I almost wish she 
had taken it with her. Poor thing ! But all that is gone by." 

I insisted upon remaining with him the whole of that 
night. I had a book which I particularly wished to read. 
He was, at length, prevailed upon to let me stay with 
him. 

After he sank to sleep, I drew to the fire, and read for 
several hours. Unused, however, to sitting up at night, 
(then, not since,) I dropped to sleep. It was what Shak- 
speare calls, with wonderful happiness of phrase, the 
" dead waste " of the night, when I was awaked by a slight 
noise — a noise as of something, or somebody near me. I 
opened my eyes suddenly, and looked up. A figure — it 
was Ludlow — stood before me. Merciful God ! I could 
not shriek. No face of living man was ever so shocking ! 
Yet, as I gazed upon it, it was the face of a conscious 
being. 

He pointed to his mouth with one hand, indicating — I 
discovered that at last — that he could not speak, and 
motioned with the other as if he wished to write. 

I had arisen. ec For Heaven's sake, return to bed. Do 
you want pen and ink ? " 

An inarticulate sound. He nodded his head. At that 
moment, his eyes were fixed upon the wall, and his head 
was turned slowly round. He appeared to see some moving 
object. A strong shudder — his feet carried him to the 
bed ; — he fell upon it with a groan, and then taking my 
hand, guided it to his lips, and thence to his heart — ' 
pressing it to his heart. I fell upon my knees and prayed, 
and when I raised my head, all was over. He was gone 
for ever ! 



172 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



CHAPTER II. 

IN WHICH LUDLOw's WILL IS CANVASSED BY HIS EXECUTOR ; AND 
WHEREIN A DYING LADY IMPLORES FOR JUSTICE IN BEHALF OF 

RICHARD SAVAGE. WITH THE EFFECT OF SUCH SOLICITATION 

UPON HIS MOTHER. 

Ludlow's sudden death had so completely stunned my 
senses, that, until now, I had been unable to bring my 
mind to the contemplation of any thing, save the calamity 
that had befallen me, and of that only vaguely, and with a 
sort of incredulity. Greaves and his wife had kindly un- 
dertaken, in the first instance, all the necessary arrange- 
ments for his funeral, and had asked me many times to 
communicate with his friends. I had told them he had 
none. Now, however, I remembered two whom it would 
be as well to apprise of his death — Myte and Lady 
Mason. His wife (how I hate to call her so !) was, at 
this moment, doubtless, on her way to the former — I 
would write to her ladyship. My then present temper of 
mind produced the following letter : — 

" Madam, 

" Your old and faithful servant Ludlow is dead — mur- 
dered by his wife — by my mother, and — by you. How 
he died, should you desire to see me, I will tell you. 
What he said of you, and the sense he had of your conduct, 
you shall likewise hear. Meanwhile, I hope this intel- 
ligence will cause you as much pain as you ever felt in 
your life. If it do — I say it not uncharitably, or as 
wishing wantonly to disturb your peace — it will be some 
expiation (unavailing, madam, at best !) of your wicked 
treatment of a worthy man, and of one not so worthy — I 
mean, your humble servant, and w r ould I could truly add, 
not your grandson, 

" Richard Savage." 

This letter I despatched forthwith by Greaves, with an 
intimation that it required no answer, and I resumed my 
seat by the side of my dead friend. The letter 1 had just 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



173 



written., far from carrying off my evil passions, or such 
passions as are commonly called evil, had inflamed them 
to a degree almost intolerable ; nor was the sight of that 
meek, subsiding face, imperceptibly changing, but hourly 
changed, calculated to calm or to moderate them. 

Whilst I thus sat, brooding revenge — for my thoughts 
had flowed into that channel — Greaves returned, and ac- 
quainted me that he had been overtaken by a footman 
from Lady Mason, and that the man earnestly requested 
to see me immediately. He was below. I desired that 
he might be shown up st&irs. 

The man entered — my letter open in his hand. 

" Oh ! young gentleman," said he, ei my lady must see 
you directly. She gave me this letter into my hands, say- 
ing I should find out where you lodged by it, and hurried 
me away. I think she's beside herself, in a manner of 
speaking. She hasn't walked so well about the room these 
many years/' 

" And you have read that letter, Nat, I suppose ? " 
said I. 

<e Why, yes, sir, I have, I must say. I hope it ain't 
true." 

(( Go in and see for yourself. He was a friend of yours, 
I believe." 

The man did so, and came back in a minute, his face 
bedewed with tears. 

ee He was a friend to me, sir," said he ; ec you may 
say that ; and the best friend I ever had in the world. 
The kindest man a servant ever lived under. There'll be 
plenty of grieving at the house, when I tell 'm. I hope 
he died, as I may say, happy, sir — comfortable, like ? " 

" I trust he did, Nat." 

" He deserved both to live and die happy, sir. The good 
he has done unbeknown " 

I stopped the friendly fellow. " I can readily believe 
it," said I ; " but time presses now. Tell Lady Mason 
I will be with her in a few minutes." 

I lingered awhile after the man was gone. If I say 
that I uttered a fervent prayer, 1 must say also what that 
prayer was. It was that what I designed to speak to 



174 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



Lady Mason might come home to her — that I might 
make her at least feel - — that I might cause her to tremble 

— that I might enforce her to pray. <c Charity ! charity ! " 
methinks I hear some worthy, well conducted, paying-his- 
way citizen exclaim, whose debtor lately died in gaol, 
hearing that his wife had hanged herself and that his 
children were gone to the parish, e< Revenge does not be- 
come us — put away this heathen morality." Worthy 
mouth-maker and citizen, it is not revenge, I tell you ; it 
is resentment, which is just, and human, and christian. 
Tell me, expounder of the faith that is in you, whether we 
are not bidden to look for justice and to hope for mercy ? 

Opening the street door, Myte stood before me, pale and 
motionless as a statue. 

ei Well, sir, do you want me?" I said coldly. 

He seized me by the wrists. " Ricardo, don't rate — 
don't scold me ; I know I deserve it, but you must not. 
I told your prodigious preceptor — what was his name ? 
I call him Gog — how sorry I was that I had done you 
injustice. Who's to believe a lying world ? I won't, till 
we're all of us liars, and then lies will be truth. Here ! 
come in — I want to speak with you." 

" I am busy, sir — I am engaged," said I, striving to 
release myself from him — " Lady Mason particularly 
desires to see me." 

He, stared at that, and then, snapping his fingers — 
i( And so it was a lie (how current the lies are !) I heard 
just now. Take me up stairs. I won't keep you a 
minute. Woful's at home ? " 

He was at home — I did not undeceive him, but brought 
him into the sitting room. 

"Jezebel has been with me," said he; " where's Jere- 
miah? but, never mind, its better he's away for the present. 
Jezebel has been with me." 

" And who is she, sir?" 

" Who is she ? There can be but one living woman to 
whom that name belongs : no, no, I don't mean the other 

— you know what I call her. Well, she told me. but what 
could be her motive I don't know, for I would scarce listen 
to her — she told me that Woful was dead : ay and she 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



175 



looked as though she expected I should believe her — and 
she did give me a turn." 

" And how did she look ? " I inquired. 

" As though she wanted to cry, but couldn't. She talked 
something about a will — a will ! She was never solicitous 
about his will before, I believe." 

" She has for once spoken truth, Mr. Myte," I replied. 
" Your friend, that is to say, Mr. Ludlow, once your friend 
— is dead." 

Myte jumped out of his chair. " Dead ! Ludlow dead ! 
impossible ! You are jesting with me. You know, and he 
knows, how I love him. It was all a mistake, I tell you 
again and again ; and I'll believe him and you the longest 
day I have to live, though you speak parables." 

I opened the door of the inner room, and pointed to the 
coffin. " Look here, sir, this is truth, I am sorry to say it." 

After gazing at the coffin for some minutes, he leaned 
against the mantel-piece, and fell into tears. "Why didn't 
you break it to me?" he said, reproachfully. " You don't 
know what you do, young man, when you trifle with an 
old man's feelings. You don't cry. Why don't you? 
You're a stock or a stoic, which is pretty much the same 
thing. Poor, dear old Woful. Old? not old. I'm a fool 
and a liar. Oh, Ricardo ! We are quits now. You have 
wounded me more than I ever hurt you." 

His grief affected me. " I did not mean to do so," said 
I ; " forgive me. Come, sir, look upon him for the last 
time." 

" Look upon him ! " and he shrank from me. " I 
wouldn't for the two hemispheres. I should never recover 
it — it would kill me. I never saw a corpse in my life, 
and never will. Lud ! lud ! what'll Mrs. Myte say, and 
Vandal, and Mrs. Langley ? Does Lucas know of it?" 

" I had forgotten Lucas ; but I will send to him." 

" The jockey of Norfolk ! " cried Myte — " how will old 
Parr take it? Like a pill, to be sure. It'll clap a second 
winter upon that old white poll of his, and kill him out- 
right. We that have seen such nights together ! " 

He appeared to brighten at the recollection, but his 
countenance presently fell again. What killed him ? " he 
asked. 



176 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



" Another weak and wicked invention of my mother's, 
in which Jezebel, as you call her, sir, took part." 

" What ! more lies ? " cried My te ; " don't let me hear 
them, 1 beseech and implore. I won't. You are going to 
Lady Mason — let me walk that way with you. Heigho ! 
Who could believe women were so wicked? It was because 
I thought better of them, that I thought worse of you." 

He ventured to put his head in at the door of the inner 
room. " God bless you ! " said he, u dear old companion, 
and honest fellow, and good friend, lying there, all cheerless, 
dark, and deadly, as Lear says ; but oh! that's too shocking. 
— If you're not gone to heaven" — and he turned his face, 
streaming with tears, towards me — " why, then, I shall 
have a warm place of it — I shall, Ricardo, I shall ; and 
a very warm place, too. He was a good man — good — 
and a man. Heaven bless him ! Say e Amen/ " 

I did so, and he embraced me, crying. 

" I shall blubber my eyes out, if I stay any longer, and 
must walk home by guess; or do, as blind beggars do, knock 
people about the toes with a stick till I get a clear path. 
Take me away. And don't let me see the man you sent to 
me once or twice — Greaves. Greaves, indeed ! How 
many friends has he lost this quarter to whom he owed 
money, and who never took a memorandum ?" 

By the time we were got into the street, he had rallied 
considerably. (Trivial little grig ! I must e'en say thus 
much of thee. Thou wert too merry a man to endure grief 
for five minutes together, till — for the grim enemy, fore- 
runner and, like a link-boy, foreshower of death, will press 
his company upon us — till, I say, he came to thee with 
thy wife's last prayer upon his lips, and then thou held'st 
out some five days. Peace be with thee and thy joyous 
spirit ! ) 

We walked in silence till we came to the street in which 
Lady Mason lived. 

u Stay a moment," said he, ec one moment. The wo- 
man said something about a will. Has he left a will ? " 

<c He died too suddenly to make a fresh one. He wished 
to see you, but died before morning. He told me you held 
a will of his^ made many years since." 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



177 



iC What ! that to the Reformation Society ? His will- 
o'-the-wisp, as I used to call it, that would mislead his 
money into the quagmires of vice and the sloughs of 
iniquity. I shall hurn it, and hand over his money to 
you/' 

6C You must do no such thing/' I replied. et I hold it 
sacred. Besides, I have already told his wife that such a 
will is in existence." 

e£ Who, were I to burn it, would come in for her 
thirds/' said he. u Did ever goose hold his head up so 
high as you, and was ever goose such a goose ? Why did 
you open lip to such a harridan ? " 

iC It can't he helped now/' I returned. cc Had he lived, 
it had been otherwise. No matter. I dare say 1 shall be 
able to make my way through the world." 

" Ay, and come out at the antipodes, no doubt/' re- 
turned Myte ; " nothing more easy. Give a man a thousand 
years, and the first three-score and ten don't count for 
much. What's to be done ? " 

(e I have no earthly right or title to the money," said I. 
Ci It is true, he had no relations ; but his wife knows of 
the will." 

i( She will have all if I destroy it," said Myte ; Ci and 
you can have none whether I do or no. O Lord ! I wish 
I could be a rogue safely — for this once. If I wouldn't, 
I hope I may never be honest again. Go to Lady Mason, 
and call upon me on your return." 

I promised that I would do so, and was hastening away, 
when he again detained me. Ci Look you here," said he, 
ee I have a large sum of money of poor Woful's in my 
hands. Well — what must I do ? and it must be done, 
I see that. I must wait upon the society. I shall be 
ushered into a room — to the committee — where three 
or four red-faced and round-bellied rogues are seated — 
rogues, to whom the reformation of manners has not ex- 
tended, but to whom the cant brings grist — and good 
grist, too ; such as makes the sinners thank Heaven they 
never thought of being honest, but did think of seeming to 
be so. Well ; behold me : here I come on my fool's 
errand — of money left — of the testator — of the amount. 

N 



178 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



How their eyes goggle one at the other ! c Pray be seated, 
sir ' — ' let me beg of you to be seated, sir.' How the 
elbows are at work at the sides which are about to have 
another inch covering upon them. Lord ! oh Lord ! what 
a born fool will they think me, and what a fool shall I 
look — not a born fool, but a made one « — to show how 
great a fool could be made. I pay over my money, and 
retire blushing, like a modest man who has done a good 
deed — for they always look as ashamed as though they 
had been doing a bad one. Lo ! as I pass through the 
gates, two thieves, one on each side, gauging my empty 
pockets. 6 Walk in, gentlemen, to the committee, I beg ; 
to the committee, I entreat. They have already saved you 
the trouble/ And this is the end of WofuTs money." 

I could not forbear smiling, albeit anxious to get away, 
at this whimsical picture. 

" Don't laugh," said he, shaking his head. " It won't 
bear thinking upon. There — go. ' Society for the Refor- 
mation of Manners ! ' Why don't they enclose Hounslow 
Heath, and Bagshot Heath, and pension the highway- 
men ? " 

He let me go, and I hastened to Lady Mason. The 
servant announced me, and retired. She met me half way. 
Spite of my recent resolve, I could not, for the life of me, 
have uttered a word of reproach to her. She looked like a 
doomed being — like one whom death had called, and who 
had heard, and who had seen him. 

She laid her hand upon my arm, and said, " Do you 
know what you have written to me? You tell me Ludlow 
is dead. Is that true ? Oh no — and that I have mur- 
dered him ; and that is not true. What had his wife to do 
with it ? I cannot make that out. You are a strange 
youth." 

I was about to say something, but she checked me. 
u How you are grown since last I saw you. This is an 
odd world, my boy, and I am a strange woman, and very 
old — as old as I well can be to retain my poor senses. 
Wandering again, I declare ! Come, tell me," and she 
made me lead her to the window. " You say Ludlow is 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



179 



dead. I cannot believe it — I will not believe it. Look 
me in tbe face, and confess that it is not true." 

u I wish, madam, from my soul " 

cc You look me in the face/' she said, stopping me, 
" and your face tells me that it is true. It is a sad thing/' 
with a shudder, " but it cannot be helped now. It is a 
way we must all go. You must let me know how he died. 
But why do you keep me standing here ? Don't you know 
that I am aged and infirm ? " 

I took her arm, and helped her to her chair. 

te There — there. Now we are as we should be. Now, 
sit down. What did Ludlow say in his last moments — 
of me, 1 mean. I want to know that. He reproached me, 
did he not ? He vilified his mistress. Well — I say it 
is a strange world." She fixed her eyes earnestly upon me. 
" He cursed me — cursed me." 

" No, madam, he did not," I replied. " He enjoined 
me to tell you that, as you had been his earliest, so had you 
been his best friend and protectress — that he was sensible 
of your goodness, and grateful for it ; and on his dying 
bed he blessed you, and prayed for your happiness." 

She shook her head with a sad smile. " He was a good 
creature ; faithful and honest, and only too grateful. But 
what of the last few months ? What of my discharging 
him ? I did discharge him from my house — from my 
service." 

" Pardon me, madam, I would rather not answer that 
question." 

e( But that question must be answered," she returned 
quickly, and with an imperious air, which reminded me 
whose mother she was. " It must be answered. No, no, 
sir ; I must be obeyed. What did he say ? " measuring 
her words, <e of my turning him out of doors ? " 

" He said, madam," I replied, after some hesitation, 
" that it was not your act ; that you had been misled — 
controlled by another." 

" And that is true — true — true," she exclaimed, snatch- 
ing my hands between hers. " Oh, my poor dear boy, how 
grieved you look. Come, come," patting my cheek, " you 
must not grieve. It is for old people to grieve ; I am sure 
n 2 



180 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



I do. That is true ; I have been misled and controlled, 
and made to do things in my age at which my youth w ould 
have blushed, and which have shamed both youth and age. 
I thank my good God that I am not well able to reason 
with myself now. There is a hoop of iron bound round 
my head — it seems like it. But for that, I should go dis- 
tracted. You must not tell me, or write to me any thing 
more about Ludlow. Murdered ! indeed ! — murdered ! " 
repeating the word many times. 

ee Mrs. Freeman is dead — that's true, is it not ? He 
told me so five years ago." 

" It is true, madam ; Mrs. Freeman died some years 
since." 

She fell into a long reverie. u Why," she said, at length, 
suddenly, with a smart blow upon my arm, " to be sure. 
Jane Barton was his wife — pretty Jane Barton, as we 
used to call her. She brought herself to shame ; but — 
mercy on me, that was long ago — very long ago. That 
never murdered him. Hush ! what's that ? " 

I listened, but heard nothing. 

" Hush ! she's coming : let us be prepared for her," 
arranging her head-dress — " let us be quite serene. Don't 
stir." 

The door opened, and Mrs. Brett walked into the room. 
There was no symptom of confusion or even of surprise 
when she saw me. Was there ever such a self-possessed 
lady ? I protest, as she advanced, she accosted me with 
a slight grave smile, and there was an humble depression of 
the eye-lids — mock, that, 1 suspect. 

"Is your ladyship better this morning ? " she said, 
taking the seat, which, on her entrance, I had involuntarily 
relinquished. 

" I have heard news that should make me worse," re- 
plied Lady Mason. " Ludlow is dead.'' 

Ci I know it," returned Mrs. Brett; " and I am glad of 
it. He was a fool and a knave, and deserved to die. Either 
may be happy and prosperous ; both in one, never." 

" You must not talk so/' exclaimed Lady Mason ; " he 
was a good creature." 

" Nay, I said it out of no enmity to the fellow," cried 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



181 



Mrs, Brett. " He is gone. Let him go. He was not 
fitted for this world." 

" And we that are," said Lady Mason, hastily, " are we 
prepared for the next ? Oh, Anne ! Anne ! " 

" I was at church last Sunday, and heard a very long 
sermon," said Mrs. Brett with a yawn. 44 But you are ill — 
your head bad again. Why is this youth standing here ? 
Is he wanted ? " 

44 Your son ! " cried Lady Mason, almost sternly. u Re- 
collect yourself, child, he is your own son. Now Ludlow 
is gone, I must have no more of this. He was the ob- 
stacle." 

Mrs. Brett turned to me with a lofty air. 44 Were you 
with your father, when he died, sir ? " 

Insolent woman ! How I despised her ! {( No, ma- 
dam/' I replied, 44 I was not. Were you ? " 

W r hat a demoniacal face was hers in an instant. She 
would nave arisen, but was detained by Lady Mason, who 
flung her arms about her. " The dear boy ! " she cried im- 
ploringly, 44 the dear boy ! be merciful to him, as you hope 
for mercy. See, how grieved he looks ! Oh, that I were 
dead, and in my grave ! Anne, you will send me to my 
grave.'* 

Mrs. Brett gently released herself from her mother's em- 
brace. f * You will kill yourself with these extravagances," 
she said ; " be composed ; nay, I will leave you else. We 
must have no scenes." 

44 1 am quite calm," said Lady Mason, vaguely. 

" That is well. I am glad the boy is here. Step for- 
ward, sir ; I have something to say to my mother, which 
you may hear. You will see that I wish you well, for it 
will be a lesson to you." 

I approached, and took a seat. 

44 Madam," she resumed, turning to Lady Mason, 4 ' the 
wisdom you may derive from my story will come too late. 
Ludlow, too, might have profited by it. This boy is my 
son." 

44 Heaven be praised !" began Lady Mason. 
44 At all fitting times, Heaven should be praised," inter- 
ns - 3 



182 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



rupted Mrs. Brett. " Restrain yourself, madam, I entreat. 
This boy is my son — you say so. I will not deny it." 

Lady Mason was again about to break forth into a rap- 
ture ; but a something in the face of Mrs. Brett, as I con- 
ceive, restrained her. 6i My daughter/' she said piteously, 
" you must not trifle with us, or play with us." 

" I will not," returned Mrs. Brett ; u that I have never 
done with you. Perhaps I might say, would that you had 
never played and trifled with me. That youth, if he were 
my son, or if he be my son — as you will, might echo. 
6 would that you had never played and trifled with me.' 
And I am accounted wicked, cruel, vindictive, unnatural. 
Look, now, what you and your good Ludlow have done." 

She paused, regarding me intently for some time. I was 
interested, and, at the time, touched by the expression of 
her face. Her eyes appeared full of sorrowful meaning — 
almost of tenderness — feigned, I know now it was feigned. 
She passed her hand across her brow. " It is gone — and 
for ever/' 

ee Madam," she resumed, " when Lord Rivers was dying, 
he sent for me. He wished to see me. The living, who 
wrong me, I can never pardon ; the dying I can forgive. I 
went to him. He was solicitous to know what had become 
of my son. I told him he was dead. You told me so. I 
thought his brain was touched when he questioned me. 
What else could I think ? And when he said that you 
had constantly assured him the child was living, even to the 
last, within a few months, I was confirmed in my belief. 
My story is at an end, when I acquaint you that the sum 
of six thousand pounds, which he had left to the child in 
his will, was struck out of it." 

She turned to me. 

" You are vastly indebted to your friends, sir, if you are 
my son : if not, very little to your fortune." 

Lady Mason appeared not to comprehend, at the moment, 
the tenor of this speech; but when she did . Descrip- 
tion of that face were hopeless. Even her daughter was 
terrified by it. 

ec Speak, speak !" she exclaimed. 

{C Yes, yes — speak? we must all speak when we come 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



183 



to answer God. I must, and so must you. Weep, woman, 
weep ; or, what is better — pray." 

She fell down upon her knees, raising her aged and 
clasped hands towards me. 

" Now, my God! — and thou art a merciful God — what 
is left to me but to die? Oh ! thou wronged, dear child — 
on all hands wronged — how can I look for forgiveness 
from thee ! " 

Her daughter had taken her in her arms, and was at- 
tempting to lift her from the ground. 

" Rise, madam ! " she exclaimed ; (( what strange pro- 
ceedings are here ! The youth must laugh at you. You 
knew Lord Rivers left my son nothing. It is but as it was/' 

(i Would that I were as I was, or that I had never been!" 
cried Lady Mason. " Rise ? I may be raised, Anne ; but 
I shall never rise again." 

She snatched Mrs. Brett hastily by the wrist, and beck- 
oning impatiently to me to approach, took mine also. 

" My daughter ! " she said, solemnly, ee the wicked do 
not bad deeds for nothing. I have done your will, and it 
has been wickedness. 1 ask you now to do my will ; it is, 
that you will save two souls, or try to save them. Behold 
your son — 'your own son, as Heaven is my witness; as Lud- 
low, who is now, I trust, in heaven, is his witness, your own 
son. I will be calm, but you must hear me. We deceived 
you — but he never did you wrong. You cannot hate him 
for our fault. Come — come, my dear daughter, my Anne, 
my only child — take him to your arms, to your heart." 

Feebly, indeed, but with all the strength of which she 
was mistress, did the venerable lady strive to join our hands. 

" No ? " she cried staring upward wildly at her daugh- 
ter, ■ — (e By the Maker, we have both outraged, you shall 
do my bidding. Anne Brett, you shall obey me. Oh ! 
speak to her, Richard — join with me in entreaties — in 
prayers to that insensible woman. You may look, Anne, 
but I see that you are moved : " (poor lady ! Mrs. Brett 
moved in my favour!) " you will acknowledge him — you 
will protect him — you will be his mother." 

" Assure yourself, madam, that I will not," returned 
Mrs. Brett. 

n 4 



184 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



Lady Mason relinquished her hold upon us, and fell 
upon the floor — motionless then, as death. 

" You have killed her, madam ! " I exclaimed. 

" Peace, dolt," she replied ; " ring the bell, and retire. 
You can be of no service here." 

u I will at least stay, madam, till it be ascertained 
whether Lady Mason still lives." 

She answered not, but taking her mother's head upon 
her knee, applied salts to her nose. The servants now ran 
in, and raising their lady in their arms, conveyed her to 
an inner room, Mrs. Brett following them. 

Could I believe my ears ? I listened, and was at length 
assured that they had not deceived me. Yes ; Mrs. Brett, 
with the most fond and tender endearments, was endea- 
vouring to restore her mother to consciousness — blandish- 
ments, such as I have seen a young mother exhaust, or 
rather strive to exhaust, upon her first-born, and which a 
daughter may gracefully and sweetly repay to her aged 
parent. I heard these. A pang of nature — for it was a 
pang — shot through my heart — a thrill went through 
my frame — my eyes filled with tears. Then, not till 
then, I felt that I had a mother. Like a fool — like a 
great girl, or a blubbering boy, I sat down and wept — 
sighed — sobbed, that my mother might have heard me. 

I was disturbed at this sorry employment by the entrance 
into the room of the lady who had unwittingly put me 
upon it. I dried my eyes hastily, and w T iped my beslub • 
bered face. Her own was paler than before, but as cold 
and callous. 

" You are still here, sir ? " she said, advancing. 

" I waited, madam, to learn the state of Lady Mason." 

iC She is better. But you have, I perceive, been weep- 
ing. If for Lady Mason, you have begun too soon. You 
should reserve your tears for her funeral. Tears are some- 
times scarce at funerals." 

" At yours, at least, they will be," I thought to myself 
afterwards. 

If any moisture had lingered upon my cheeks, the blush 
that overspread my face would have scorched it off in an 
instant. As yet, however, something of the woman abided 
with me. I approached her respectfully. 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



185 



" Why, madam," I said, " will you ever treat me thus ? 
How have I wronged — in what way have I injured — in 
what manner have I offended you ? What is my fault ? 
Tell me, and I will correct it. Would that I knew how 
I could oblige you ! " 

" You know very well how you could oblige me," she 
returned ; " ay, and Richard Freeman, or Ludlow — 
whatever be your name, even to you would I acknowledge 
my obligation. Let me not see you again. Let me never 
hear of you or from you more, and I will thank you. 
Relinquish your absurd — your preposterous claims ; re- 
turn to the honest calling for which your parents designed 
you, and which, I am told, was that of a cobbler " 

This was too much. 

u What, madam ! " I cried, fiercely, " after the assever- 
ation of your dying mother, will you still reject me ? " 

" That was so well thought on of Ludlow," she said, 
with a scornful smile — " the artful knave to a weak and 
confiding mistress. To pass you off — his own, or his 
sister's, or his wife's son, for mine. The creature hated 
me, I believe. You are a clever youth. You have sup- 
ported him well. But enough of this. Begone ! what is 
your name ; is it Freeman ? " 

ee Richard Savage, madam, son of the late Earl 
Rivers." 

Ci Words — words — forward, well-taught, w T ell-faced 
stripling ; but a bungler, too. Come, I will be plain w ith 
you. Had I been as easy, as credulous as my mother, do 
you think your abrupt, ill-conceived, ill-executed intrusion 
upon me in my own house would have imposed upon me ? 
Had 1 previously been shown the best reason to believe 
that I had a son in existence, could I have mistaken you 
for him, with those player's antics ? " 

I was silent, but at length I answered, — 
" Nevertheless, madam, and in spite of my inability to 
express what it is impossible I should feel, namely, that 
lively affection for your person, which your watchful and 
tender care of me from my infancy upwards might, I do 
not say it would, have excited in me ; and in spite of 
Ludlow, and in spite of yourself, you know I am your son. 



186 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



And in spite of your barbarous cruelty to me, I know you 
are my mother." 

Ci And what," she replied, with prodigious assurance, 
iC what if I were to say, I know it likewise ? What if I 
do say so ? " 

" Perhaps you will not be believed. The world, 
madam, I have heard, more readily ascribe vices than 
virtues to mankind ; and there are some who appear re- 
solved that in them, at least, the world shall not be mis- 
taken. Keep to your story, madam, by all means ; I will 
stand by mine." 

This cutting retort — for so I designed it should be, 
fell pointless. Perhaps the arrow was shot too high, and 
missed her. What did she care for the world, half of 
which was as bad as herself, and the other half no better ? 
She greeted me with a derisive titter. 

" Thou foolish novice," she said, leisurely, between her 
white set teeth, " and what would'st thou be? and what 
would'st thou do ? and what canst thou do ? " 

" I can tell you what you have done," I replied : 
ce what you will do, who can tell ? Ludlow — he is dead." 

i( Well, sir, proceed.'' 

ec Your mother lies dying. These are your doings." 

She turned pale at that. 4f Insolent villain ! You dare 
not say this to me." 

i: I dare — I will — I have said it. These are your 
doings, Mrs. Brett. I will now be plain with you. Not 
satisfied with disowning your son, you would have spirited 
him from England. Where was 1 to be sent ? To the 
West Indies ? or was I to be murdered on the passage ? 
But worse than this, (I thought, madam, you were a 
proud lady) you stooped to accept my mercy ; and after- 
wards suborned an infamous wretch to prop your falsehood 
with another. You have her hand to it, I hear." 

fC I have," she replied ; " and she has signed to what is 
false ; I know it, and I confess it. What of that ? " 

She laughed, but it was not carried off well. Oh, God ! 
how exquisitely mean she looked at that moment ; and 
she felt she looked so. She was disconcerted ; shockingly . 
painfully self-abased. Ludlow ! thouhad'st had thy revenge 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



187 



then, could'st thou but have seen her. Too ample it had 
been for thy gentle spirit to have borne. I could have 
wept for the poor soul in that beautiful body, so cursedly 
employed. 

It was some minutes before she recovered her com- 
posure. When she did, she said, — 

(e I repeat, I know that what the woman has signed is 
false. I tell you, that you may know me. Beware of me, 
Richard Freeman." 

cc I must be Richard Savage, madam. My mother's 
shame is yours, my father's name is mine." 

ce As you will," she replied, her bosom heaving. 
" Richard Savage, then — that woman is your mother. 
You understand me ? " 

I do. As you will, as you have said. Upon my 
word, madam, I believe, after all, you have some con- 
sideration for me. Though you yourself disown me, you 
kindly procure one who is willing to acknowledge me. I 
ought to be, and am, obliged to you. So little to choose 
between the two " 

She flashed forth at this, coming towards me with an 
eye of fire. " Richard Savage " — her hand held forth 
— she checked herself. Ci But no, we will have no 
theatrical show. I hate you. When I say that, it is 
enough." 

1 threw forth my hand, and caught her descending 
fingers. ic Mrs. Brett, I do not hate — I despise you." 

She strove to look me down, but her eyes fell under 
mine. She measured me from head to heel, and I her. 

Am I not your son, madam ? 

And we parted, never to meet again, eye to eye, face to 
face, breath to breath. And was there to be no theatrical 
show ? Not Booth and Mrs. Barry ever stalked from the 
stage at opposite sides with a more taking dignity. 1 am 
told she has a keen sense of the ridiculous. She must have 
laughed over the remembrance of this often, as I have done. 
It is well that we should have supplied each to the other, 
one occasion of mirth. And all, perhaps, that has passed 
between us, rightly taken, is ridiculous. Then, if it be so, 
let others laugh. 



188 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



CHAPTER III. 

RICHARD SAVAGE LAUNCHES INTO LIFE, AND BECOMES ACQUAINTED 

WITH TWO LITERARY CHARACTERS. HE IS INTRODUCED TO A 

CERTAIN PLAYER, AND MAKES HIS FIRST DRAMATIC EXPERIMENT. 

Greaves and his wife officiated as mourners with me at 
the funeral of Ludlow, who was buried in St. James's 
churchyard. After the ceremony, as we were passing out 
of the gate, I was laid hold upon by Lucas, who informed 
me that Lady Mason had died on that morning. I was not 
greatly moved by this intelligence. During the three days 
that had elapsed since I had seen her, I had reflected se- 
riously upon the lamentable consequences to myself that 
had resulted from her notable project of estranging me from 
my mother. I could not help feeling that if Mrs. Brett 
hated me in my infancy, on my father's account, she must 
have loathed me most intensely when I — the evidence of 
her shame long since removed — suddenly arose to renew 
and to aggravate it. I could have forgiven Lady Mason 
the loss of my fortune, which she had caused ; I could 
pardon the weak facility which had made her the ready, 
not to say the willing, tool of the other ; but I could not 
forgive her that she had furnished her daughter with a pre- 
text for her hatred of me. 

After defraying the expenses of Ludlow's funeral, I found 
myself in the possession of something less than twenty 
guineas. I had never before been master of so large a sum, 
and I made no doubt that long before it was exhausted, I 
should be supplied with more ; in what manner, or from 
whence, was a consideration to be entered upon at some 
future time. And let none but such as have grown too old 
to remember their youth, or too wise to make allowance for 
its vanities, suggest that I must have known that any given 
sum must of necessity come to an end, and that unless 1 
had some available resource I could not reasonably count 
upon a fresh supply. I know all that ; but I know, also, 
that next to the possession of money is the hope of obtaining 
it ; and that with youth hope goes much farther than money . 
and jogs on cheerfully too. Flushed with my little fortune. 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



3 89 



I rejected Myte's faintly urged offer of returning to him, 
and declined a pressing repetition of the proposals made to 
me by Burridge, that I would place myself under his care, 
to be sent to college, and to come forth a scholar and a gen- 
tleman. My contumacy offended both, who, widely dif- 
ferent in all other respects, were alike — as indeed, all men 
are pretty much alike — in this, that they approved their 
own way so much, that they could not endure that any- 
body else should presume to have a way of his own. My 
inexperience was the plea upon which each founded his 
right to dictate to me ; but when I would not be dictated 
to, each resented it as though my experience should have 
taught me more wisdom. 

Upon one thing I was resolved ; that I would never again 
apply or appeal to my mother or to Colonel Brett. Who 
I was, however, and how I had been treated, I determined 
to make extensively known. I was perfectly assured that my 
story would meet with an easy reception from the world. 
It was so improbable (thanks to Lady Mason) on some 
points, that no one would believe I could have invented it ; 
and nature had given me my mother's face as to the fact, 
and my mother's spirit in support of it. As my money 
melted under my fingers, I bethought me of the three hun- 
dred pounds which had been bequeathed to me by my god- 
mother, Mrs. Lloyd. With some difficulty I discovered 
who this lady had been, where she had resided, and the 
name of her executor. To this worthy person I betook my- 
self, and mentioned who I was, and the reasons that had 
so long prevented me from putting forward my claim. I 
hinted significantly that I was now come for the money, 
which I wished forthwith should be placed at my disposal. 
The incredulous trustee laughed in my face, which was my 
best as, indeed, it was the only voucher for my pretensions ; 
and reminding me that it was necessary I should furnish 
some more satisfactory evidence than features could estab- 
lish, opened the door and bade me a very good day. Many 
times, at subsequent periods of my life, did I renew my 
application to this gentleman, when my story had been made 
universally known, and was currently believed ; but 1 never 
succeeded in overcoming or removing his obstinate disbelief. 



190 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



In the mean while,, I had made the acquaintance of a 
young fellow who had previously occupied my lodgings,, 
and who occasionally dropped in upon Mr. and Mrs. Greaves, 
at dinner time, with a collection of casualties and calamities 
which he transferred from his own brain, where they had 
been created, to the sepulchral bosoms of his excited 
listeners. In a short time, Merchant, for that was his 
name, found his way up stairs into my room, and made 
overture of intimacy with me, which I gladly encouraged. 
His advantage over me in point of years, his fund of animal 
spirits, which were inexhaustible, and his utter and openly 
expressed contempt of the forms and formalities of wealth 
and station, made him, perhaps, a dangerous companion to 
a youth thrown loose upon the world, but they rendered 
him a very pleasing one. I soon fell in with his humour, 
and adopted his mode of thinking. I began to look down 
with great contempt upon those solemn "puts" — for so 
he called them — who make the acquisition of money the 
sole employment of their lives ; and he soon introduced me 
to a knot of choice spirits — his boon companions — who 
held, or professed to hold, in equal abhorrence all grovellers 
of whatever description. I believe the truth to be, that 
many of these gentlemen accommodated their sentiments to 
their condition ; for although, perhaps, a worse apology 
can hardly be assigned for a bad coat than the assertion that 
you despise a better, or for an empty pocket than that you 
hate money, yet that apology is in common request amongst 
those gentlemen who chance to be ragged and penniless. 

" Dick," said he, one day, for we were on terms of the 
utmost familiarity, " I wonder a young fellow of your 
spirit can endure to live with these dreary cannibals, who 
feed upon dead bodies. When I first came to live here, I 
thought verily, they would have made a raving Bedlamite 
of me, with their horrors ; but I discovered an invaluable 
secret. How, thought I, can they have acquired such a 
treasure of terrihle narrative ? how, but by the contribu- 
tions of former lodgers, fellows who, in self-preservation, 
coined dismal wonders, and so converted themselves from 
listeners into relators. Joyously did I snatch the convic- 
tion, and act upon it ; and 1 think a more goodly catalogue 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



191 



of complicated atrocities than they could furnish to you 
of my sole brain's begetting it might be difficult to hit 
upon." 

I had long thought, I told him, of changing my lodging 
— the one I held being more expensive than my present 
restricted means justified me in retaining. 

" Then why not come and live with me?" he rejoined. 
" I have but one room, it is true; but then it is exceed- 
ingly light and airy,, being at the very top of the house — 
time out of mind the residence of lofty souls. You shall 
see it. What is the present state of your finances ? " 

" About seven guineas/' I replied, " when I have dis- 
charged my lodgings." 

" A little fortune," he returned, (c and will be enough 
for both of us, till I get some money, for which I am now 
at work. What do you say ? Shall we make a stock 
purse between us ? " 

I told him that my purse was very much at his service, 
provided I might depend upon sharing his when he had 
accomplished the accession to it of which he had spoken. 

" A bargain then," said he ; " and since you must, I 
suppose, stay here another week, lend me a guinea to go 
on with, for the devil a farthing has had a master in me 
for some days." 

I handed him the piece, which he viewed with consider- 
able satisfaction, presently committing it to his pocket. 

" Now," said he, as he arose to go, " let the dismal man 
and woman instantly know your intentions. If they in- 
quire curiously your reasons for leaving them, tell them, 
without ceremony, you are at the last pecuniary gasp. If, 
upon that, they don't let you go, and wish you gone, and 
prophesy your death and burial within a month after your 
departure, they are as merry souls as Christians can be, 
and I'm as sad a body as a sinner ought to be. I'm off 
to the eating-house ; for ' cupboard/ ' cupboard/ cries 
within me plaintively ; and then to L'Estrange, that great 
philosopher, who is so profound that he can understand 
his own writings. My employment is, to give 'em such a 
turn that nobody else shall understand 'em. We are great, 
both of us, in the hopelessly obscure." 



192 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



" L'Estrange ! " said I ; n what Mr. L'Estrange of 
Bloom sbury Square?" 

u You know him, then, do you V* cried he, holding up 
his hands, and bursting into a violent fit of laughter. 
" Did mortal eye ever light upon such an original ? 6 Si 
monurnentum queris/ — if you seek for the Monument, 
and can't find it on Fish Street Hill, look in Bloomsbury 
Square, and behold ! — L'Estrange. Yes, I am, at his 
own request, infusing Cimmerian darkness into his new 
theory of moral obligations ; c for/ says he, 4 1 want only 
the learned to apprehend me. The vulgar might construe 
it too literally/ I say, Dick, when pay-day comes, away 
with theory. He must follow the old practice." 

When the day of my departure arrived, Mr. Greaves 
and his wife embraced me with mournful cordiality. 

i£ Beware," said Mrs. Greaves, " of the many dangers 
that besets all on us in the midst o' this great town." 

" That we live from day to day," observed Greaves, c< is 
owing to a merciful providence. Mr. Merchant can tell 
you of the sad things that do happen to persons of all ages 
from day to day, from hour to hour, from minute to 
minute." 

Up went the eyes of Mrs. Greaves heavily and slowly. 
e( Too true — too true," with a sigh. " We shall, per- 
haps, see you again. I hope so. But the death of Mr. 
Ludlow tells us as how " 

" Nothing is to be reckoned upon in this world," in- 
terrupted Greaves. " Since the sudden swallowing up of 
that family, as they were sitting at their dinner, eating a 
breast of " 

" Veal," cried Mrs. Greaves, breathlessly. " Why, 
Merchant knowed all on 'em, except one — a friend as 
dropped in, as he may do, just at 

(i Pudding time," groaned Greaves. ce But only see. my 
dear, if Mr. Savage ain't laughing." 

"The young and thoughtless will have their fun our,' 
she replied ; (e but it won't last. He'll cry and roar one 
of these days, as we have had to do." 

I tore myself away from the bosom-beating couple, and 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



193 



followed by a porter who carried my trunk, was met by 
Merchant at the corner of the street. 

After walking a considerable distance, we arrived at 
Drury Lane. 

" Here, then/' said Merchant, halting, and waving his 
hand, " in this time-honoured quarter of the Babylonish 
city you are ab6ut to dwell. There — over the way — in 
that court, at the very extremity of it, snug in the corner. 
Come along." 

I walked after him with some misgivings. 

ec Here we are/' said he, taking out a key, and opening 
the door. " The man, I suspect, will not be able to carry 
your box to our room with it upon his head. This house 
was built for comfort — no wide, lofty passages and stair- 
cases to pass through, which give a man the tooth-ache. 
A sensible economy of bricks and mortar." 

" Good Heavens !" I exclaimed, as I plodded up several 
narrow flights of worn-out stairs, " what a place is this !" 

" Isn't it }" said he, complacently, purposely mistaking 
my exclamation for an outbreak of rapture — ' f isn't it ? 
Who would think of looking after a man here ? Who, I 
say, could expect to find him here? — a very important 
recommendation of it, Savage, as one of these days you'll 
acknowledge. Now, pay the man his hire, and let him go. 
We'll get the box into the room." 

I did so. 

" As well," said he, winking his eye, when the man was 
out of ear-shot — " as well we didn't give him a peep of 
the place. Now, then, what do you think of our lodging? " 
ushering me into it. 

ff Why, I can't say that it commends itself to one's 
liking on the instant." 

Cf It does not" he returned. " I grant you that. I 
had my prejudices against it, I can tell you, when I first 
came to it ; but they wore off 1 . Plenty of light, you'll 
observe, especially just under the window. These three 
little panes must be mended. I must remind Mrs. Skegg 
of them once more. Why, on a fine day, you can see the 
bedstead at the other end of the room." 

"Indeed!" said I, approaching that ancient piece of 
o 



19* 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



furniture. " Methinks the sun should have worthier ob- 
jects to shine upon. But with what, in the name of Mor- 
pheus, whose name, I fear, I am taking in vain, is this 
bed stuffed ? " 

" Down, busy devil, down," as the fellow says in the 
play, he answered, laughing heartily. " But that's a 
wretched clinch, too. No, Mr. Richard," he added, 
gravely, " from certain evidence that protrudes from one 
end of the tick, I pronounce it stuffed with wool, list, 
dust, wisps of hay. What matter ? These chairs, also : 
there are two — have been sat upon — there's no denying 
it. When they do let you down, it is easily, like camels, 
those patient beasts. This way, my friend ; a little prac- 
tice will enable you to poke the fire without scattering the 
burning cinders about the room. Fenders are of no real 
service. And when the smoke won't go up the chimney, 
it goes out at the window. Your eyes scon become accus- 
tomed to it. Oh ! it's a sweet place ! — that is/ 5 he said, 
after a pause, bursting into a fit of laughter, " when you're 
once used to it." Then, stalking to the other end of the 
room, and throwing up his arms, he exclaimed with much 
energy, 

" ' The mind is its own place, and of itself 

Can make a Heaven of hell, a hell of Heaven.' 

If that's true, my friend, and I believe it is, you may 
make yourself comfortable, even here/' 

I was fain to reconcile myself to this wretched accom- 
modation, which, after all, was not quite so vile as Mer- 
chant had portrayed it. I remembered the garret of Mrs, 
Freeman, in Chancery Lane, and the miserable truckle by 
the side of J oseph Carnaby. 

" And now that we have got you here," said he, " what 
do you propose to do ? You will not endeavour to make 
terms with your mother ? " 

" I will not," said I, resolutely. 

" She would thank you for that. We will, then, let her 
be for the present. You wish to make your way in the 
world ?" 

" I do, but how?" 

' c How ! ay, I thought ^how' was coming," cried 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



195 



Merchant. cc A peremptory little dog, Master How ; and 
yet he seldom gets a satisfactory answer. You have no 
particular liking or genius for trade or business ?" 
" I hate both most cordially." 

" Hate both ! — I thought so. Will you permit me 
to ask you, Savage, in what direction your genius lies ? " 

The question posed me. " Why — hem ! " I began — 
" as to that " 

" You don't know? Just my case. I've been so long 
as to that, as to this, and as to t'other, that as to the 
thing — the rem — the money — I am further off than 
ever. Have you an addiction to letters ? " 

I brightened at the question. Ci Merchant," said I, 
ie of all the pursuits — the professions in the world, that 
of an author is the one for which I feel that I am destined. 
I am young to be sure ; but I have already amused my- 
self with the composition of several slight performances. 
Permit me," — I arose, and made towards my trunk, 
f The interest you are pleased to take in me," I resumed, 
plunging the key into the lock, " delights me. You shall 
see." 

" What ! going to get me to read them ? cried 
Merchant. " Prose or verse ? " 

ce Chiefly the latter," I replied, producing a packet. 

He held up his hands and turned up his eyes, and 
groaned deeply. " I couldn't read them for the world. 
I couldn't, I protest. Besides, I've read 'em before." 

f{ Merchant ! " 

" All before," he repeated. c Corydon ' — c Phillis' — 
' rustic crook' — ' purling stream ' — ' verdant glade ' — 
c fanning zephyr.' Then, ' Philomel' — e cooing turtle ' — 
6 enamoured swain ' — ' bashful fair ' — ' frisking ; ' 
sometimes it is, c skipping lamb' — 'feathered songster' — . 
c tuneful choir.' For all under the ' fleecy clouds,' or the 
c azure vault,' I couldn't have 'em over again." 

I forced a laugh, but was not a little mortified to 
find that he had anticipated several of my poetical graces. 

" Come, come," said he, observing my confusion ; " let 
me look over them. You are a son of Adam. It is not 
o 2 



196 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



your original sin. The worst of it is, the fruit was not so 
tempting at first hand." 

I handed the packet to him with some hesitation. He 
ran them over hastily, and then tying them together, 
cssed them to me. 

(C Better than I expected, a great deal better/' said he ; 
" but you must commit no more at present. You have 
read Mr. Pope — I see you have. When you are as old 
as he — he is still very young — you may do like him. 
Do like him ? yes, write good verses which the public will 
read, if you can prevail upon a certain number of lords 
and gentlemen to assure the public they are good/' 

" But, surely, Mr. Pope, without such patronage " 

" Would be Mr. Pope without such a public," inter- 
rupted Merchant. " No, no ; Pope is wise in his genera- 
tion : a wiser man, as to the world, than Pope does not live 
in it. No man flatters lords more, or tells lords more truth 
than Pope. He flatters individual lords, and speaks the 
truth of lords in the mass. The consequence is, the in- 
dividual lords believe he does not flatter them, because he 
sets them above their fellows ; and the public think him 
an honest and independent man, because he decries rank. 
That man will be worth money. A glorious genius — for 
politics ! " 

ie I have heard, indeed," said I, " that it is necessary 
to pay court to a person of honour, as he is called, and to 
crave his permission to dedicate your work to him ; but 
it is a lowness to which I could not descend. If I am to 
make an impression upon the public, it shall be by my 
own merit alone. For my part, I can scarcely conceive 
an object more despicable than a mere man of rank/' 

" You must forgive me," returned Merchant, " if I 
presume to hold the stirrup while you alight from that 
hobby of yours, which you cannot ride gracefully, and 
which, should it begin to prance, will throw you. A mere 
man of rank ! what is he ? I suppose he is as good, as a 
mere man without rank. His rank is no disqualification, 
I hope. Now, I'll tell you who is more despicable. A mere 
man of letters. Don't frown, for I want you to open your 
eyes. You never saw — but I have seen — an author in 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 197 

the first flush of public favour. Ha ! ha ! ha ! " and he 
laughed with a deep-toned and boisterous energy, " what 
a disgusting animal ! What an insolent, what an exacting, 
what an unconscionable coxcomb ! He is not for this world 
— not he. He is all for posterity, if it will have him. 
Of course — of course — posterity will be too glad of him. 
There will be nobody else to have. Author no more — he 
is the choice spirit of the age. And there are none whom 
he ridicules, and would wrong, and affects to despise, so 
much as his poorer brethren. And all this, because he has 
done what thousands might have done better — thousands 
have done as well — thousands have refrained from doing, 
and thousands despise, when it is done.'' 

" Well," said I, " this is all very good, and perhaps it 
may be all very true, but it is nothing to our — I should 
rather say my — present purpose. What am I to do now?" 

<<r First of all, and chief of all," said he, " look upon 
authorship as a mere business. Then, do your best. The 
public will tell you your exact worth, and it will be your 
own fault if you do not get it." 

" Then the vox populi — ha ! Merchant ! then the 
despicable fellow would be right, after all. Is the vox 
populi the « " 

" Vox Dei?" cried he. " No. I was a fool. Eut I wish 
you rather to follow than to go before my maxims. When 
a man thinks too highly of himself, it commonly happens 
that he thinks too meanly of the world. I would have you 
do neither. Genius is not always successful — conceit is 
not always triumphant ; genius is proud in adversity, in 
prosperity modest. Conceit is mean and base in both." 

" Are you not growing too serious?" said I. " These 
cautions, for which I thank you, are out of time, because, 
as yet, I have done nothing. I hope, whatever my station 
in literature may be, I may never find occasion to apply 
them." (I could not help feeling vain, young sinner that 
I was ! — that all this talk on the part of Merchant im- 
plied an indirect compliment to me.) 

" I believe I went out of my depth," he replied, gaily ; 
" but I wanted to reconcile you to the room, and the room 
to you. I revolve high and serious meditations in this 
o 3 



198 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



garret, I can tell you. Yes, Savage, you must put away 
your verses. You must not attempt to write poetry before 
you can think. No man can write fine poetry unless he 
possess more sense — common sense, than others. Take 
that for granted. You must waddle before you walk; run 
in a go-cart before you fly in the clouds. Write a play." 

ce A tragedy ! " I exclaimed ; " if I believed — if you 
thought I should succeed — Oh no ! M 

" Oh no ! " indeed ; I neither think, nor do you, I 
hope, believe that you could do any such thing. Your 
dagger would be pointless, and your bowl cracked. The 
buskin is too large for your foot, at present. You must 
try on a very little sock — a farce." 

" A farce ! — my genius does not lie in that direction, 
Mr. Merchant." 

u And why not? " said he. cc How do you know in 
what, or where, it lies ? I wonder what genius is, that it 
can only lie in one place. Not much like its owners, I 
imagine, who are too often compelled to lie where they can. 
Come, we must try a little comedy/' 

" Are you serious ? " 

" I am what I hope the comedy is not to be," he re- 
turned. ce We have all been present at plays, c when deep 
sleep falleth on men/ We must have none of that. Why, 
I have known a tragedy damned because the uproarious 
slaughter in the last scene awakened the audience. No — 
no — a little thing founded on a Spanish plot. Give us a 
spice of intrigue, with a valet who knows more and talks 
better than his master, and who has a purpose of his ow r n 
to serve. My friend Lovell will place it in the hands of 
one of the players — he knows them all." 

i( But I fear I should make a poor hand of it," said I. 

c: Try," said he. " Do you remember what Dryden 
says somewhere ? 

' The standard of thy style let Etherege be. 
For wit, the immortal spring of Wycherley.' 

Now, you have only to give us a little of Wycherley's wit. 
in something of the style of Etherege, and give your piece 
a good name (without which dogs are not safe) and your 
business is done." 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



199 



" How strange it is," I replied, laying ray hand con- 
fidentially upon his arm ; " I have lately been reading a 
story, that can be easily transferred to Spain, which I 
thought of turning into a play, only that I was of opinion 
such work was beneath me." 

(C Beneath you ? " cried Merchant in amazement. cc I 
have known many a gay young fellow who has found such 
work very much above him." 

<e As to the name, Merchant, nothing can be better. 
The very title of the story, 6 Woman's a Riddle.' " 

ee She is, indeed, and so she will remain, till this world, 
which alone is the greater riddle, be explained. A most 
tempting name for the weaker vessels, certainly. About it, 
while the purse has an inclination one way more than the 
other. L'Estrange's moral obligations will come upon 
him, and recruit us just in the nick of time. ' Woman's 
a Riddle ! ' Excellent ! Poor L'Estrange's wife is most 
particularly a riddle. She's a puzzle to herself. Time 
has stood still with her these forty years. She's like a 
clock never wound up. She tells half-past five on the face, 
while it is three-quarters past ten by the other dials." 

Thus encouraged, I proceeded diligently with my little 
work, which I completed in less than a month. From a 
remembrance of what it was, or rather from a conviction 
of what it must have been, I shall not be wrong, I think, 
if I assign a very small degree of merit to it. Such as it 
was, however, it drew many encomiums from Merchant. 

" Come, this will do," said he, " this will do. It is, 
to be sure, not equal to Congreve or Vanbrugh : but Rome 
wasn't built in a day ; that, Vanbrugh could have told 
you — witty dog ! who contrived to make people laugh at 
his architecture as heartily as at his comedies. Faith ! 
Dick, we must get Greaves and his wife to attend the first 
performance. I took them once to see the " Old Bache- 
lor.' Oh ! their labial immobility ! Oh ! the forlornness 
of their faces ! They thought Fondlewife pure tragedy. 
But now for Lovell — the iron's hot, let us strike at once. 
This is just the time to see him ; though, by the way, 
he's always to be found at the same house. He's so in 
with mine host, that the latter daren't refuse to let him go 
o 4 



200 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



on. The cold victuals, humble porter, and a pipe, are 
always at his command. Once it was, ' where do you 
prefer it, Mr. Lovell?' and e is the punch to your liking, 
sir ? my wife knows your palate/ Ha ! ha ! she does, 
indeed/* 

He amused me with other particulars of this person as 
we walked down Drury Lane. Lovell had entered life, it 
seemed, with good prospects ; but having run through a 
small patrimony, had turned author, and was now a hack- 
ney writer for booksellers ; that is to say, when any one 
of them would employ him. He had acquired, if the 
truth must be told, a very indifferent character amongst 
them, leisure being more congenial to him than labour, 
and his attachment to drinking partaking of a constancy 
which he could never be brought to extend to his love of 
literature. cc I am sure," he used to say, u the Czar of 
Muscovy ought to be very much obliged to me. Here 
have I taken money for his life these six months, and yet 
have I spared him. Does any gentleman know any thing 
of the Czar of Muscovy, good or harm ? I do not, I pro- 
test. Here's his health, and a long life to him, and may 
I live till I write it." 

Merchant halted at the door of a dingy Geneva shop, 
which was dignified with the name of a tavern. " Follow 
me up stairs," he said, " the club is held there." 

On entering the room, we discerned dimly through a 
haze of tobacco smoke, about a score of the strangest- 
looking beings that were ever, perhaps, congregated toge- 
ther, seated round a table. Such a variety of features and 
expression, with so little pretension to regularity of con- 
tour or sobriety of aspect, was never seen except among 
authors. Merchant directed my attention to Lovell, who 
was seated majestically in an elevated chair. He was a 
stout, it is more proper to say, a swollen man, about forty 
years of age, with a face, except the nose, which was 
purple, not so much of a red as of a brick-dust colour. 
There was a comical solemnity about his eyes, heightened 
by the position of his wig, which he had clawed to one 
side of his head. 

It was with some difficulty that we made our way to 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



201 



this potentate, who was holding forth with no ordinary 
vehemence of voice and gesture. Too intent upon his 
argument to break off in the midst, or indeed, to suffer 
interruption, he greeted Merchant with a sidelong exten- 
sion of his hand, holding the fingers of his friend till he 
had concluded, when he threw himself back in his chair 
in triumph. 

*' Not a word more — that decides it/' he exclaimed, 

ec I won't hear another word " to a little sharp-faced 

man, who had determined to secure the best chance of the 
next speech by keeping his mouth ready open for utter- 
ance. Ci Well, Merchant, we see you at last. I thought 
you were dead, but they talked of catchpolls.' ' 

u Permit me to introduce a young gentleman — Mr. 
Richard Savage — who is particularly anxious for the 
honour of an introduction to Mr. Lovell." 

" Very happy indeed to see Mr. Richard Savage," re- 
turned Lovell, rising, and with his hand extended on his 
breast, bowing profoundly. — " You rogue," to Merchant — 
" Mr. Savage, I hope, is anxious for more honour than he 
can derive from an introduction to Jack Lovell." 

e: If we might request the favour of your joining us in 
a bowl of punch," suggested Merchant, with a persuasive 
softness, " over here at the side table?" 

Lovell licked his lips with evident satisfaction. 

(C A bowl of punch ! Why, ah ! — yes. We'll leave 
the commonalty, and adjourn." 

When the punch had gone round, Merchant, in few 
words, opened our business to him. 

" What ! " cried Lovell, " one of us, is he ? Mr. Savage, 
give me your hand. I wish you well — I wish you happy 
— I wish you prosperous, and therefore, perhaps I ought 
to say, I wish you would run away from authorship as 
fast as your good sense will carry you. And so you have 
written a play — a little comedy — mirth-inspiring comedy ! 
Bless the ingenious young rogue," turning to Merchant, 
" what a set of teeth he shows ! I hope he'll always find 
employment for 'em." 

He regarded me attentively for some moments. 

" He'll do — he'll do," he exclaimed, " I see it in every 



202 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



lineament. And you think Jack Lovell can be of service 
to you ? Jack Lovell imbibes new life from the flattering 
compliment. What he can do, that will he do. Can he 
say more ? Even as I empty this glass/' drinking it off, 
" so empty my heart of all its friendship, and make use 
of it." 

" Why/' said Merchant, " your acquaintance with the 
players " 

ee I know 'em all/' returned Lovell, (i all ! not a man 
Jack, but Jack knows the man." 

Ci Do you think/' observed Merchant, " that Wilks or 
Gibber could be prevailed upon to look at it ? " 

" Um ! " said Lovell, shaking his head. " Ah ! Wilks 
and Gibber are great men now, and I'm a little man now. 
Time was, I was a great man then, and they were little 
men then. e Fortune turn thy wheel/ as old Kent says ; 
but she has turned it, and it went over me long ago. I 
knew them all — Betterton, majestic Betterton — andPowel 
who loved a bowl of punch better — no, as well as I do. 
I'll tell you what/' he added, after a pause, (i there's 
Bullock. I dare say you have a part will suit him. I'll 
write to him." 

" A capital comic actor, Bullock," said Merchant ; 
" Lopez will fit him to a miracle." 

Ci Then to Bullock — innocent beast ! I knew him 
when he was a steer — to him will I write," cried Lovell. 
" Fetch pen, ink, and paper." 

Merchant hastened down stairs to procure them. 

c< A very good fellow, Merchant/' said Lovell, when he 
was gone ; " but he'll never make any thing. He wants 
perseverance — application, without which nothing ever 
was done, and therefore, I suppose, nothing can be done. 
Ah ! 

' Video meliora, proboque ; 

Deteriora sequor ; ' 

that is to say, I can see his mote in spite of my own beam. 
There is no help for it but this," applying to the bowl. 

" Mr. Savage," he resumed, setting down his glass, and 
squeezing my hand, " you will make a more graceful 
figure with the town than I have done. I know it. We 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



203 



must be friends. In your success I shall behold my own* 
Yes, yes, I'll say to you in the words of Dryden, — 

* Unprofitably kept at Heaven's expense, 
I live a rent-charge on His providence ; 
But you, whom every grace and muse adorn, 
Whom I foresee to better fortune born, 
Be kind to my remains, and oh, defend, 
Against your judgment, your departed friend. 
Let not the insulting foe my ' . 

Pshaw ! " and he brushed away some maudlin tears that 
had gathered in his eyes. " I was going too far. I was 
about to say f fame,' but that won't do ; for I never had, 
and never shall have, any. But never mind. I hope 
you'll be as far above Congreve, to whom the lines were 
addressed, as I am beneath Dryden, who wrote them. 

' Guard those laurels which descend to you.' 

To you — to him who wrote The Mourning Bride, all 
blood and bluster — strenuous fustian — Ohs ! and Ahs ! 
Here comes Merchant. Can we manage another bowl?" 

I declared my willingness to pay for a second, albeit 
our stock-purse was at a very low ebb. Merchant, how- 
ever, was drawing to the conclusion of his labours for 
L'Estrange, when we should have a fresh supply. 

" I'll write the letter while the punch is mixing," said 
Lovell : and he sat down and scrawled an epistle which, 
stained with punch, and begrimed with pipe-ashes, was 
placed into my hands. 

On the following morning, big with hope and expecta- 
tion, I hastened to the lodgings of Mr. Bullock, whom I 
found at home. It was said of Bullock that, on the stage, 
he e had a particular talent for looking like a fool.' His 
eulogists were probably unaware that this w r as a talent 
which nature had enjoined him to exercise every where. 
He received me with an obsequious smirk, revolving his 
hands one over the other, with — 

e( May I crave your business with me, young gentle- 
man ? What can I do for you ? " 

I presented my letter, which he deciphered with some 
difficulty. 

" Poor Mr. Lovell," he said in a tone of compassion, 



204 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



<c I have not seen him this long while. I believe he is 
not so well off as his best friends could desire. Some 
would say it serves him right ; but I am far from saying 
so. I know what youth is. I was gay myself once. He 
tells me you have written a play, and that you wish me to 
read it. I am sure I shall do so with a very great deal of 
pleasure. Have you brought it with you ? " 
I produced it. 

ce Ah !" said he, with the same eternal smirk ; "a little 
thing, I perceive. Very well. I will look over it, and if 
you will do me the pleasure of calling upon me again this 
day week, I will tell you more." 

I was punctual to my appointment. 

" Mr. Savage," said he, taking me by both hands, u pray 
sit down. You are a very ingenious young gentleman. I 
have read your trifle, and it is pleasant, very pleasant in- 
deed. And yet," he added, with something intended for a 
sigh, " I fear we shall make nothing of it ; I do, indeed. 
What we shall do with it I am sure I don't know." 

I was confounded at this. Poor wretch ! I had counted 
upon its acceptance by the theatre. Merchant had told 
me I might make myself easy on that score, and I had 
done so, even before he told me. 

(£ I am extremely sorry, sir," said I, %c that I have given 
you the trouble of reading my performance, and you will 
readily believe that I am much mortified to learn that it 
is not adapted for representation." 

" Gently, gently, Mr. Savage," he replied ; " I did not 
say that. Youth is so hasty — so very hasty. I said I 
feared ; but we intend to try. I have made some con- 
siderable alterations in the plot and dialogue. 1 ' 

" Indeed !" I returned, by no means pleased that he 
should presume to do any thing of the kind without my 
concurrence. C( Will you give me leave to ask what these 
alterations are, that I may judge whether " 

" J udge whether ! " he repeated with happy mimicry ; 
" how can an author possibly, I say possibly, be a judge 
of the merit, as an acting play, of his performance ? In- 
deed, after many years, and much practice, he may per- 
fiaps acquire some slight insight into the taste of the town : 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



205 



but it rarely happens that he does so. No, Mr. Savage, 
actors are the only judges of a piece before its represent- 
ation." 

" And yet/' said I, " pieces are produced every week, 
and are damned ; and many plays have been rejected, 
which have afterwards met with extraordinary success." 

" That is because the taste changes/' he replied ; " it is 
always changing. But for Mr. Gibber, some of Shak- 
speare's plays had been lost to us. You will be grateful 
afterwards that I have taken such pains with your little 
comedy. I have really bestowed my best labour upon it. 
I think we may now venture to hope, that when it comes 
to be played, it may prove successful." 

" Comes to be played, sir," I replied in overjoyed amaze- 
ment. I thought you said you didn't know " 

C{ When it is to be played — nor do I, to the very day* 
Within a fortnight, I dare say. I thought I should sur- 
prise you." 

I was little disposed, at this moment, to cavil at his 
alterations. All tremulous with gratitude, I seized his 
hand, and poured forth my acknowledgments, which he 
vouchsafed to receive with smirks innumerable. 

The eventful evening arrived on which the fate of this, 
my maiden effort, was to be decided. Merchant, two days 
before, had succeeded in coming to an angry settlement 
with L' Estrange — that philosopher insisting that his 
secretary and associate was bound, by every tie promul- 
gated in the New Theory, to be contented with half the 
sum agreed to be paid in the first instance. He insisted 
that such was the folly, weakness, and moral deficiency of 
human nature, that an abatement of fifty per cent., in all 
mundane bargains, was a concession that every true Chris- 
tian ought to make to his neighbour. Merchant, however, 
reminded him that, upon the same plea, he would have 
been justified in demanding twice as much as his due ; 
and at length they agreed (L'Estrange with many wry 
faces) to split the difference, by construing the agreement 
according to its letter. 

What a tedious piece of work was the Othello of Booth 
that night ! — that wonderful contention between love and 



206 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



passion, which the great actor displayed before his rapt 
and breathless audience with so astonishing and life-like a 
reality as to cause one utterly to forget that the character 
was the creation of a poet — perhaps the greatest tribute 
to Shakspeare's genius that can be conceived ! At length, 
" Woman's a Riddle," a proposition which the Moor had 
been practically exemplifying, came on for a first hearing. 
As it proceeded, I discovered that Mr. Bullock's alterations 
were neither many nor important ; and it may be forgiven 
to a sanguine, and, perhaps, a conceited youth, to confess 
that I considered them (and really I believe they were) as 
blemishes upon my production. However, the piece was 
well received — the curtain fell amidst considerable ap- 
plause, and Merchant and I marched out of the play- 
house, he protesting that I was likely to become a shining- 
ornament of the British stage, and 1 perfectly assured that 
I had already done enough to prove that I should be so. 
The ecstasy of that night ! 

Merchant proposed that we should adjourn to the Cocoa 
Nut — his common tavern of resort — that we might 
sanctify our triumph in a flowing bowl. I suggested, 
however, that we should rather adjourn to Lovell, who 
had taken much interest in my welfare, and to whom I 
was in a sense indebted for my good fortune. 

" Hang it, no," said he, drawing me away, t€ the com- 
pany there is not high enough for the present pitch of our 
spirits — old worn-out carking souls, who will rather envy 
than sympathise with our success. The day after a de- 
bauch is the time for them, when a man's heavy, and 
stupid, and congenial." 

We drank deeply at the Cocoa Nut ; but I was no 
match for Merchant. I had not yet taken my degrees. I 
proposed that we should return home. The company were 
too noisy, and I wished to brood over my happy fortune 
— to hug it, as it were, to my bosom. He peremptorily 
refused to budge an inch, and bade me sneak home by 
myself, if I was so minded. For his part, he meant to 
make a night of it. Finding that he was obstinate, I took 
him at his word, upon his promise to follow T me within 
three hours. He was too fuddled, he said, to trust to his 
feet in the dark. Aurora must show him a light. 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



207 



CHAPTER IV. 

IN WHICH THE HOPES OF RICHARD SAVAGE MEET A SEVERE REBUFF, 
WHICH, NEVERTHELESS, DOES NOT DETER HIM FROM TRYING HIS 
FORTUNE A SECOND TIME. 

When I awoke the next morning, great was my surprise 
at discovering that my friend Merchant had not found his 
way home ; hut concluding that he had been provided with 
a bed at the Cocoa Nut, I made myself easy respecting 
him, and prepared to wait upon Mr. Bullock. He received 
me very courteously. 

" Well, here you are," said he, with his accustomed 
grin. iC I fully expected to see you. So we brought you 
through pretty well, I think. How did you like the 
acting ?" 

" Most excellent, indeed, sir. The success of my little 
piece altogether exceeds my expectations." 

' c It was very fair, I grant you," he returned ; " but 
you must not be misled by the favour shown on a first 
night. We shall, however, proceed with it. Of course, 
you mean to try your fortune a second time ? " 

I replied that I was resolved upon doing so. 

cc I would." said he ; <c you have a pretty talent that 
way, and may, one of these days, make it answer your 
purpose/* 

One of these days ! I hardly liked the phrase. Mr. 
Bullock, however, began to talk volubly on indifferent 
topics, and at length, taking out his watch, regarded it for 
a time with attention, then placed it to his ear, and then 
stared me in the face. The hint was not to be mistaken. 
Unwilling as at all times I was (some of my friends will 
say no) to enter upon the discussion of money matters, yet 
I was considerably more so in my younger days. But 
Mr. Bullock left me no alternative. I looked foolish., 
coughed, and at last brought out — 

" I do not expect, sir, that the profits upon my play will 
be very large — but » 



208 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



ee Large !" cried he, " a very little is given now-a-days 
for such things, and that is contingent upon their continued 
success. For my part, I hardly expect to get a farthing 
from it." 

(C Indeed ! " said I, greatly chap-fallen, " surely Mr. 
Bullock " 

" Surely what, Mr. Savage ? " he interrupted, with a 
smile of benevolence ; " what is the young gentleman 
driving at ? " 

« Why, sir," I replied, " my drift is this. Whatever 
they be, small or large, my necessities compel me to hope 
that it will not be long before my half-share will be forth- 
coming." 

I only do justice to Mr. Bullock's abilities as an actor, 
when I acknowledge that the face he presented, when I 
left off speaking, was an incomparable specimen of the 
tragi-comical. He presently fell back in his chair, raising 
his eyes to the ceiling. 

"Half share!" he exclaimed, at length, in a loud 
whisper ; " there must be some mistake here. Ha ! ha ! 
I see — you are a wicked wag. You have been putting 
off one of our friend Lovell's jests upon me. Half share ! 
so like him !" And here he hugged himself together, and 
shook his head, as though it were one of the most ecstatic 
drolleries in life. 

I did not participate his gaiety. 

" There is no mistake," said I ; c: or, if there is, it is 
one into which you yourself have fallen. It is no jest of 
Mr. Lovell, but a serious affair of my own. I hope, Mr. 
Bullock, you will suffer us to understand each other as 
quickly as may be." 

u There was no agreement," said he, hastily, u no agree- 
ment," holding out his spread hands appealingly ; " don't 
you observe ? I wonder Lovell should have led you to 
expect any thing from a first attempt. When I consent 
to alter and adapt a play for the theatre, the profits, if any, 
belong solely to me. You ought to thank me for having 
secured a footing for you." 

The cool impudence of the man amazed and enraged me. 

" And what have you done, sir, to my play ? " I ex- 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



209 



claimed, with vehemence, "that can entitle you to the 
whole advantage derived from its representation ? " 

" What have 1 done ! " he replied, " I wish I had had 
nothing to do with it, for my part. Why, sir, I trimmed 
the colt ; young man, I trimmed the colt, and a rough one 
it was when it first came under my hands/' 

ec And you've sold it to pay the expenses, it seems, Mr. 
Bullock. Deduct your charge for the trimming, and hand 
me over the balance of the animal. Come, don't colt 
me, sir." 

" Very good indeed ; very good," he cried ; " you have 
a happy vein for comedy. No, no, young gentleman," 
approaching me, and making for my hand, which I with- 
drew : ce inquire, and you will find I am correct. It is 
never done in these cases, I assure you. I wish you well, 
and I am sure you deserve my good wishes. Yours is a 
very pretty genius for comedy, believe me." 

At this moment I would willingly have afforded him a 
proof of my tragic powers, by flying upon him, and pound- 
ing his wretched carcass. His inquisitive-looking nose 
stood forth, and seemed to invite me to screw it off. With 
some difficulty I mastered my rage. 

" I shall make no secret of the manner in which you 
have treated me," said I ; <c and I wish you a very good 
morning." 

He bustled before me to the door, which he opened with 
much complaisance. 

" You will think better of it, I know you will," he said. 
" But you must try your hand again ; we can't afford to 
lose you, indeed we can't. If I can be of the slightest 
service to you, command me." 

I burst from him almost choking with rage and mortifi- 
cation. A moment longer, and the fellow had seen the 
tears rush out of my eyes, and if he had, it might have 
been the worse for him. 

When I reached home, Merchant, I learned, had not 
been there. I was vexed with him that he should have 
deserted me at such a time. It was he who had advised 
so early an application to Bullock, although neither of us 
expected that immediate money would be forthcoming, 
p 



210 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



He knew that I was utterly without cash, and the cup- 
board being empty, I had gone without my breakfast. 
Somewhat disposed to form a disparaging estimate of man- 
kind ih general, 1 hastened down Drury Lane, thinking 
that I might, perchance, find him with his friend Mr. 
Lovell. 

I discovered that gentleman in earnest and angry parley 
with a stranger — a grave and business-like man about the 
middle age. 

" Then I am not to look for it from you ? " said the 
stranger ; " this is very scandalous conduct, let me tell 
you, sir." 

" Call it what you please — tell me what you like, 
Stephens/' cried Lovell. " I say no ; you are not to look 
for it, unless you advance more mineral substance." 

" Mineral substance ! " cried the other ; « c have I not 
already advanced you every farthing of the sum you en- 
gaged to do it for ? " 

" That avails not," said Lovell. " Ha ! my friend/' 
to me, iC Stephens, look at that morning star of letters. 
Crowned with bays, he comes. Well, you have settled 
with Bullock ? Stephens attend. Hear how genius is 
sometimes rewarded." 

I returned a ghastly grin, and in few words made him 
acquainted with the treatment I had experienced. 

Lovell smote the table violently with his fist. 

" And Bullock has served you thus ? Can any one "tell 
me where honesty, the smallest piece of it, is to be found? 
I don't know, but my strong impression is that, if any 
where, it is to be met with in Newgate. They must hang 
the honest men. Bullock ! what dreadful beef that fellow 
would make ! too bad for jackdaws and magpies, who are 
not half such thieves as he. Fie ! fie ! I'm ashamed of 
you, Stephens ; smiling, chuckling over a shocking piece of 
wickedness that might make the hair of a negro stand on 
end. Oh ! I am moved, very much moved. Upon my 
soul, a little more and I should cry." 

And the man spoke the truth. He was really affected. 

" Pardon me, young man," said Mr. Stephens, (i I was 
not smiling at your distress. Far from it. I feel for you, and 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



211 



despise the man who has treated you so. I was smiling at 
Mr. Lovell, who vents so much indignation against others, 
that he has none left for himself. Tell me which is worse, 
the man who takes your work and won't give you the money 
for it, or the man who takes my money and won't give me 
his work. Ha ! Mr. Lovell, I have you there. Come, 
Lovell, I don't wish to make you angry ; but is it not too 
bad ? Really, sir " 

" Really, sir/' began Lovell ; but he could not proceed. 
His confusion was distressing. I arose to leave. He fol- 
lowed me to the door. 

" Have you seen Merchant to-day ? " I inquired. 

e( I have not, Mr. Savage," said he, nudging me, and 
attempting a look of unconcern. He had me there, as he 
says ; fairly caught, by G — ! A hard thing that a man 
can't moralise for a moment without catching it over the 
knuckles. Jack Lovell will take better care of Jack Lovell 
another time. And yet, if I thought I was no better than 
Bullock — Why, he has plenty of money, that Stephens — 
and all scooped out of author's heads. His wife's wedding- 
ring, twenty years ago, was all the gold he had in his 
house, and now he could bay up all the married fourth- 
fingers in the kingdom." 

The meanness of Bullock, the moral laxity of Lovell, 
and the unaccountable absence of Merchant, which now 
began to look suspicious, by no means improved the opi- 
nion of the world I had been led to form half an hour 
previously. I wandered about the streets for some hours 
in a state of desponding perplexity, and at length returned 
home, faint, tired, and disgusted. 

I found Merchant stretched upon the bed. He started 
up as I approached. His looks were haggard, and his 
dress was in the utmost disorder. 

" You see before you just such a monstrous fool, 
Savage," said he, " as people write about in little books for 
little children, to make the moral the stronger. I'm a fellow 
for boys to make mouths at. A mad dog is a sage to me. 
A baby's rattle to my brains would be laying fearful odds. 

A goose, deficient from the egg upwards " 

p 2 



212 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



" A truce to this," said I. " What do mean ? Where 
have you been ? What's the matter ? " 

" Half drunk still," he muttered. " I wish this con- 
founded headache were the worst of it. First, tell me 
what you have done with Bullock ? " 

I entered upon that story, which 1 took care should not 
lose of its full effect. Indeed, I was not very well pleased 
with Merchant. It was plain he had been making a fool 
of himself, and I by no means liked the levity of expres- 
sion which he employed in reprehension of his conduct. 
I have since known and have practised a lightness of 
phrase, when my heart has been heavy indeed. 

When I had concluded, Merchant struck his forehead 
with his fist. Si Savage ! " he said, springing up, " have 
you a mind to do an act at once of justice and of mercy ? 
If you have, take up that poker aud knock me on the head 
with it. Why did you leave me last night ? I've been 
bubbled by two sharpers our of every farthing we had in 
the world." 

To bear misfortunes with equanimity, ever was, and is 
still, one of my virtues. Smile, if you please, my respec- 
table enemy, and if it will gratify you to say so, call it my 
only one. I offered such consolation as words afford, and 
after some time, succeeded in partially restoring his tran- 
quillity. 

" We had better part," he said. f< I will repay you 
what I owe on the first opportunity. We shall both of us 
do better apart." 

" Of that we will talk another time," I replied ; " at 
present, I want to know where I can get a dinner. I 
have not broken my fast to-day." 

His eye wandered towards my trunk, and rested on it. 
He sighed as he said, " You have some wearing apparel 
there, for which you have no immediate occasion. The 
pawnbroker will lend you a fair sum upon it." 

I availed myself of the hint without ceremony, and 
selecting some of my least necessary articles of clothing, 
carried them away forthwith to a pawnbroker, who ad- 
vanced three guineas upon them. Merchant's spirits wen 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



213 



greatly revived by the sight of the money, not a farthing 
of which, however, would he touch. 

" You must get away hence without delay/' said he, 
<e or I will not answer for your remaining goods and 
chattels. I promised Gammer Skegg her arrears of rent 
to-night. Oh that I had discharged them on the instant ! 
and the old witch will be standing in the passage to-morrow 
morning, broom in paw, to intercept me. She has already 
hinted something about my 4 young friend's box,' as a 
security. You do not recognise any particular attachment 
towards that box, for its own sake, or for the sake of 
others ? Well, then, its contents may easily be removed/' 

As I could by no means clearly distinguish the moral 
propriety, on the part of Mrs. Skegg, of laying her hands 
on my property in satisfaction of a debt incurred by an- 
other, I snatched a hasty meal, and engaged a small 
lodging in Shoe Lane, whither, by small portions at a time, 
I conveyed my clothes. 

I met Merchant, by appointment, on the following 
morning. He laughed heartily as he shook me by the hand. 

" So, then, you have eluded your torment ? " said I. 
<( Or has she lent ear to your excuses once more ? " 

* f I lay at my sister's in Westminster, last night/' he 
replied coolly. " Don't stare ; " and he took me by the 
arm, and led me away with him. " Walpole's friends, 
who are determined to make a miracle of him, or who at- 
tempt to make the world believe that he is one, say that 
he has an innate talent — a genius for finance. They 
assert that he has a mode of managing his accounts that 
is quite mysterious. My genius that way is at least equal 
to J Walpole's." 

" What ! you do not mean to say that you have left 
your lodging without notice ? " 

" The venerable Skegg stands at this moment trans- 
fixed — your trunk agape before her," he replied. " Poor 
old girl ! I see her now in my mind's eye, distinctly, and 
mean really to see her shortly, when I get some money." 

" But not to have told her — Oh, Merchant ! I am 
sorry you have done this." 

" Don't be foolish, child. Your morals are very good, 
p 3 



214 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



I dare say ; but they are not yet seasoned. I have taken 
the best means of securing payment to her. Don't you 
know that some people will have the value of your debt 
out of you — either from your purse or your feelings ? If 
1 charged her a fair way-of-the-world price for her insults, 
we should be about even : but I scorn that. She shall 
be paid. Have you remarked her nails latterly ? She cuts 
'em when you pay your rent, and lets 'em grow as it aug- 
ments. Preserve me from her present talons ! The worst 
of it is, her wretched spouse will have to undergo her 
horny vengeance." 

Without a friend in the world, except Burridge, whom 
my obstinacy had, as I believed, alienated — and Myte (if 
he ought to be called a friend), who had been too glad, 
when I declined his offer, to take me at my word — is it 
wonderful that I should have attached myself to such as- 
sociates as chance had thrown in my way, even though 
they were not such as the worldly wise, or the wisely vir- 
tuous, would have approved ? It must be remembered that 
I was young, and that morality, in this good kingdom of 
ours, is made too grave for youth, and is not accounted 
morality if it is not very grave indeed ; and that, more- 
over, whether grave or otherwise, I had no means of ob- 
taining an introduction to those who were in the practice, 
or in the profession, of it. 

From these worthies, to wit, Merchant, Lovell, and their 
companions, I received such encouragement to venture a 
second time into the dramatic field, as is to be extracted 
from slaps on the shoulder, hyperbolical praises of my 
talents, and scornful depreciation of the talents of others, 
who by some extraordinary good luck, or exertion of in- 
terest, or defect of judgment in the public, were in full 
possession of the town. In the mean time, although these 
incitements had their effect upon me, I was daily becoming 
less able to respond to them. I had pawned nearly all 
my clothes — the money I had raised upon them was 
gone ; and one night Ludlow's silver buckles, the last ar- 
ticles of the slightest value I possessed in the world, were 
in my hand, awaiting the decision, of this question — were 
they also to go ? necessity — the lord-keeper of too many a 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



215 



man's conscience — pronounced swift judgment. They 
followed the rest. 

But I did not part with them so lightly as the rest. On 
the contrary, I began to reflect, and with no great satis- 
faction, upon the course of life I had been pursuing, or 
rather, following, lately. Much that Ludlow had en- 
deavoured to impress upon me, during his illness, returned 
to my memory and to my mind. It was the common 
traditional advice, true and trite, such as most of us have 
heard, too many of us have neglected, and all of us in our 
time have disseminated ; but it had been uttered by lips 
that were now closed for ever, and by one, the only one, 
who had ever loved me in the world. The poor sum I had 
obtained upon these sole mementos of my friend must 
not be squandered upon Lovell, or wasted with Merchant. 
I must make it hold out as long as possible. 

And now I bethought me of Martin and his wife at 
Wapping. They would, probably, permit me to occupy a 
room in their house, till my second play, in which I had 
made some small progress, was completed. As to its ac- 
ceptance by the theatre, and success with the town, the 
reception of e Woman's a Riddle/ would not permit me to 
entertain a doubt on those points. No sooner had this ex- 
pedient entered my head — while it was yet forming into 
a resolution — than an obstacle arose which compelled me 
to pause. My clothes were now become — not shabby, 
indeed — but doubtfully decent. My pride revolted against 
the notion of appearing before this worthy couple so meanly 
clad. I had some vague belief — a belief which time and 
experience have confirmed — that a bad coat on a gentle- 
man's back will be endured by none. Princes and lords 
avoid ; merchants and men of money contemn ; the mob 
— ay, beggars insult its possessor. " The little dogs and 
all, Tray, Blanche, and Sweetheart, see, they bark at 
him." 

While I was debating this stubborn case within me, I 
had walked a considerable distance towards the west, and 
was suddenly awakened from my reverie by a person, who 
hastily thrust something into my hand, and then betook 
himself to his heels. Turning quickly round, I beheld a 
p 4 



216 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



very little man plying his legs with extraordinary energy ; 
with such vigour, indeed, that his upturned feet appeared 
to be nearly upon a level with his head. I could not be 
mistaken. It was Myte. Consigning to my pocket his 
gift, whatever it might be — for it was wrapt in paper — I 
gave chase to the old gentleman, and shortly came up with 
him. 

6C Don't speak," said he, kicking out his leg as he stood 
supported by the railings of a house ; 6C can't answer yet, 
if you do : out of breath — oh ! Lud, Lud ! " 

I suffered him to get his wind, and then addressed him. 

ec How extraordinary is this, Mr. Myte, that you should 
run away from me! — What have you thrust into my 
hand ! " producing the packet. 

" I shan't tell you," said he ; " go away, or I'll yell 
out for the watch. I won't have my nose snapped off, 
when I'm doing a good turn to a fellow- creature." 

In the mean while, I had opened the paper which con- 
tained two guineas. 

" How is this ? " I began. 

" I thought so," cried Myte, with a sort of explosion 
like a sneeze. " How is this ? Oh, this pride ! what a 

d thing, what a dog on its hind legs it is ! You 

don't want money — not you ! Toss the rascal counters 
into the street, and kick me out of it, because I offered 
them to you." 

" My dear sir," I replied, " I will do no such thing. 
If you will lend me these two guineas, I shall be greatly 
obliged to you. They will be very serviceable to me just 
now." 

" Ay, now you talk like a man of the world, who has 
a mind to keep in it as long as he can," he rejoined ; 
"now you talk like Minerva, the Goddess of AVisdom, 
who sprang out of a head, but seldom springs into one. 
Serviceable to you ! yes, I should think they would be in- 
deed," surveying my clothes minutely, which he was 
enabled to do by the light of a lamp under which we were 
standing, and which by no means set them off to the best 
advantage. iC Lud ! if Woful could see you in this plight ! 
Who has a mind to paint the prodigal son ? You and a 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



217 



bushel of bean-stalks, and he's nothing to do but to 
copy." 

I was so disgusted with this thoughtless and unfeeling 
speech, that I was half moved to clap the two guineas into 
his hand, and to leave him abruptly. He saw by my face 
that he had offended me, for he broke into — 

" There — my tongue's been making a fool of itself 
again. It doesn't mind me. I've given it up long ago : it's 
irreclaimable. But I believe it means nothing ; therefore, 
forgive it. I'll tell you something. My little Vandal 
says you're a genius ; and so does the partner of my 
bosom. We all went to see your play. How we all 
laughed ! Such a roaring, and fizzing, and chuckling ! 
It's a rare thing, Ricardo. And so you got nothing for 
it, my poor fellow ! I've heard the whole story. Let me 
see ; didn't Fletcher write ' Wit without Money ? ' That 
ought to be a tragedy. Good-by." He shook me by the 
hand_, and was walking dolefully away, but he returned. 

" That mother of yours was very ill for two months 
after the death of her mother. Woman's a riddle, you 
say. That woman is an awful mystery. She has treated 
you as though you were a fiend, whereas, her house is ready 
furnished for her reception, No. 2. Pandemonium. His 
Majesty occupies No. 1. Good-by, again. Why don't 
you call and see us ? We shall be very happy to see you 
any night. Now, think of it." 

" I thank you," said I, iC and when I can make myself 
a little more presentable, I will assuredly call and pay my 
respects to the ladies ; and then, perhaps," smiling, " I 
may make my visit in the day." 

" He stepped up to me, and stared me in the face, and 
then favoured me with a grave wink. " You can read the 
hearts and minds of men, Ricardo/' said he ; " but I 
didn't mean to hurt your feelings. It's a monstrous bad 
worlds my boy, and we all help each other to make it 
worse. I respect you, too. And now I say, we shall be 
glad to see you whenever you come." 

And he trotted away briskly. 

I could not but acknowledge that the two guineas, of 
which I had so fortunately become possessed, were a most 



218 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



serviceable increase to my stock of money. Well hus- 
banded, as I resolved it should be, I might make it last 
till my play should be completed ; that is to say, if Martin 
would grant me house-room, a point that my recruited 
spirits impelled me to ascertain at once. There was, in 
truth, a good reason for my so doing. I had discharged 
my lodging that morning, and my small change of linen, 
tied up in a handkerchief, was waiting for me in the care 
of the woman of the house. This I called for, and ob- 
tained, with a glass of gin into the bargain, a farewell 
manifestation of good will on the part of the woman, which 
she insisted I should not decline. 

In due time, I found myself at Martin's door, at which, 
after a moment's hesitation, I knocked. It was opened by 
his wife. At first she did not know me, but upon hearing 
my voice, she set up a loud ejaculation, and pulling me into 
the passage, threw her arms about me and kissed me. 

" He's come at last," she exclaimed — "here ! Martin ! 
Mr. Savage has come at last. Now, I know you won't be 
offended with a poor silly woman for taking such a liberty ; 
but I could not help it — indeed, now. Deary me ! well, I 
am so glad. Where's that man of mine ? But walk in." 

Martin had been asleep ; but as we entered was rising 
from his chair, rubbing his eyes. 

He greeted me with a grave smile and an honest shake 
of the hand. " And you have come to see us at last, Mr. 
Savage ? " he said. " We thought you had forgotten us." 

u He ! " cried Mrs. Martin, " he's not the young gentle- 
man to do that. D'ye suppose he's had nothing else to do 
but to think of us folks ? But he looks ill, doesn't he ? — 
poor dear ! And what has he got under his arm ? A 
bundle, I declare. Give it me, and sit down, do. I'll get 
out the supper." 

I inquired after my friend Simon. 

" Ah ! " cried Mrs. Martin from the cupboard, with a 
deep sigh. " He's left us, Mr. Savage : left his parents, 
he has : 'listed in the Coldstream's, his father's regiment. 
He wouldn't be said nay to ; and we expect him to be sent 
abroad in a few weeks." 

" He'll make his way, I dare say/' said Martin. 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



219 



" Make his way ? yes, John, by the blessing of God I 
hope he may ; but we must have our feelings. He was 
always talking of you. You was a great favourite of his, 
I promise you that. Indeed you was. Honest, good youth 
is Simon, as ever broke bread." 

" Come, bring out your bread and cheese, mother, and 
don't trouble Mr. Savage with our affairs," said Martin : 
" how is your worthy friend, Mr. Ludlow, sir ? and the 
colonel ?" 

There was such a native goodness about this simple 
couple — something so natural — so genuine — that I, who 
never knew how to make those distinctions — to draw those 
lines which the world is perpetually making and drawing 
to the confusion of philosophy and the scandal of religion, 
made no scruple of talking as freely and unreservedly to 
them as though — to speak with a due apprehension of 
the greatness of the privilege — they ec moved in the first 
circles ! " 

They were deeply interested in my narrative. Mrs. 
Martin deary me'd — squeezed my hand, patted my cheek, 
called me by names of endearment, and then fell a-crying ; 
whilst the tailor, having dug a great hole in the cheese, 
jumped out of his chair, seized his pipe which he broke in 
an endeavour to cram more tobacco into it than it would 
hold, and finally clamoured for the cordial bottle. 

iC If I had that Mrs. Ludlow," he muttered between his 
teeth, when I had concluded — <c couldn't I ! — that's all." 

" And so now you're left in distress, like," said Mrs. 
Martin, compassionately. " Don't turn red, dear young 
gentleman, it's no crime to be poor." 

" If it were," interposed Martin, " we should have been 
hanged long since." 

" Not so bad now though, John," said his wife ; " thank 
Heaven for that." 

I now explained the purpose of my coming ; telling them 
that I was not without money, and assuring them that so 
soon as I got more, I would satisfy them for my lodging. 

" Simon's room will just do," said Mrs. Martin, rising : 
" I'll put the sheets to the fire, and make it comfortable in 
no time." 



220 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



" W e make no use of it," said her husband % " it stands 
empty. You may stay as long as you like; but, Mr. 
Savage, I hope you won't speak of payment again. When 
you can afford it, I'll take your money readily enough, and 
release you from what you consider as an obligation." 

Having taken possession of my apartment, I laboured at 
my play diligently, and fed my imagination with hopes of 
praise and profit, which yielded me more pleasure than 
their fruition could have bestowed. 

One day, I was returning home empty and disconsolate, 
when I was stopped on Tower Hill by a young gentleman, 
who, placing his hands upon my shoulders, gazed earnestly 
in my face, exclaiming, " Dick Freeman, as I hope to be 
saved. What ! don't you know me ? Have you forgotten 
Tom Gregory ? " 

Rejoiced as I was to see my old friend and school- 
fellow, I returned his cordial hug in some embarrassment. 
The meanness of my apparel was the more noticeable when 
contrasted with the splendour of his. He did not appear, 
however, to observe it, but insisted that I should dine with 
him at a neighbouring tavern, whither we adjourned. 
Gregory was the frank, manly, opened-hearted fellow of 
former days. I had not been five minutes in his company 
before I felt myself perfectly at ease. He told me that his 
father had recently obtained for him a lucrative post in the 
Customs, and remarking that Fortune did not appear to 
have treated me quite so well as the baggage ought to have 
done, and, no doubt, intended to do, he drew forth his 
purse, and called upon me to help myself without reserve 
to as much as I pleased. 

" And now/' said he, having forced two pieces upon 
me — for more no persuasion could induce me to accept — 
and having compelled me to promise that when I required 
a fresh supply I would make no ceremony of having re- 
course to him — " and now let me hear the strange eventful 
history which I could not prevail upon Burridge to dis- 
close. He told me, indeed, that you were the son of 
great people ; but when I pressed him for further parti- 
culars, he shook that wise head of his, and said that if I 
wanted to know how vile human nature was, or could be 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



221 



made, I must turn out into the world, and see it with my 
own eyes. For my part," he observed in conclusion, a I 
think the poets lame and tame dogs, after all — the Greeks 
not less so than the moderns. Whey and buttermilk in- 
stead of good honest poison." 

I satisfied his curiosity by relating every particular of 
my fortune since I left school — except the short episode, 
which I could by no means bring myself to recount ; and 
communicated to him the plan I had formed, and in the 
prosecution of which I had made considerable progress, of 
placing myself in more comfortable circumstances. He 
warmly applauded my perseverance, and lent a ready ear 
to my sanguine anticipations of a golden harvest ; and 
telling me that he would make it his particular business to 
learn the best channel of introduction for my piece, he 
took my direction, and promised to call upon me in a very 
few days. 

From this time forth Gregory and I were almost inse- 
parable during his hours of leisure. My play was at 
length finished, and called " Love in a Veil," and accom- 
panied by a respectful letter, despatched to Mr. Wilks, a 
player, as all the world knew, of no small celebrity at that 
period, and, moreover, one of the patentees of Drury Lane 
Theatre. 

Gregory had learned that Wilks was a man from whom 
I was certain of receiving polite and considerate treatment ; 
and I had gathered sufficient from Lovell, Merchant, and 
others, to assure me that I could not be far wrong in en- 
trusting my piece to his hands. A degree of stiffness and 
pomposity was ascribed to him by some — a sort of noli 
me tangere sensitiveness — as though he expected every 
moment his dignity to be infringed upon ; but others told 
me he had a heart whose dignity was intrinsic ; that he 
was both by feeling and habit a gentleman ; and that if 
titles were conferred upon worthy instead of birth, and 
upon unsullied honour, instead of brazen reputation — 
Wilks for one had sat in the Upper House long ago, 
whilst certain peers had never sat there at all. 



222 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



CHAPTER V. 

IN WHICH RICHARD SAVAGE BOWS TO A NEW ACQUAINTANCE, AND 
MAKES A SECOND EXPERIMENT UPON THE PATIENCE OF THE 
PUBLIC. MR. WILKS INTRODUCES HIM TO SIR RICHARD STEELE. 

About a fortnight after I had sent my comedy to Mr. 
Wilksj Gregory handed me a letter from that gentleman, 
which had been brought to his lodgings. I had addressed 
the play from thence, Gregory's abode being in a less re- 
mote and a more learned quarter of the town. The letter 
was couched in very polite terms ; and while it contained 
a highly flattering opinion of the piece, somewhat dashed 
my expectations by the intimation that the then present 
time of the year was extremely unfavourable to the pro- 
duction of trifles of that description. The writer, however, 
desired to see me on the following morning. 

ei I presume you intend to wait upon Mr. Wilks," said 
Gregory, when I had finished the perusal of the letter. 

iC Of course I do," I replied. " Why should you doubt 
it?" 

" Then I mean to speak plainly to you, as I used to do 
at school," he returned, " and if you're offended with me, 
I can't help it. Hang your pride — what do I care 
about it ? — though it does imply a mean opinion of me ; 
and you have no right to entertain that of your friend. 
You must let me lend you one of my suits ; for upon my 
soul, those clothes of yours (don't I speak plain?) would 
get a man hooted at Tyburn, unless he had committed 
some extraordinarily excellent murder that made him 
valued for himself alone. I sounded Martin about making 
you a new suit, for which I would have advanced the 
money, to be returned out of the profits of your play, 
(and I mean to have every farthing, I can tell you,) but 
the sad and serious fellow objected that it would be inde- 
licate, and declined to draw a stitch without your cogni- 
sance and approbation ; though his wife — dear little 
natural soul ! — did clasp her hands under her chin and 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



223 



cry, 6 La me ! wouldn't that be a nice surprise to the 
sweet fellow when he woke in the morning ! I'd get 'em 
laid out all ready on a chair, 'gainst he woke ; and when 
he clapt eyes on 'em — ' and then she spoke of her Simon, 
who is always, like cheese to a dinner, brought in last, and 
served, whether people like it or not." 

I was not greatly pleased that Gregory should have 
interested himself on my behalf in the manner he had just 
mentioned ; nor was it without great difficulty that he 
prevailed upon me to accept the loan of one of his suits 
till I could procure a better suit of my own. There is a 
pleasure in the belief that you are not so well treated by 
the world as you ought to be, that sustains a man through 
all the odium of bad clothes, and makes the dinnerless day 
endurable. The worst of it is, the world, which ill-treats 
no man for his own sake, knows and cares nothing about 
the matter ; and the enthusiast undergoes the sufferings, 
without partaking the merit, of the martyr. If a man 
could thoroughly know life before it was time to leave it 
— could know what is due to himself, owing from others, 
and provided for us all, and knowing this, permitted him- 
self to starve, or consented to be starved — then would he 
be worthy of the fate which knaves dole out to fools, and 
call charity ; stale crumbs from loaves kneaded by obe- 
dient ignorance, and cut up into thick satisfactory slices for 
gorbelly wealth and its privileged progeny, to the third and 
fourth generation. 

Mr. Wilks received me just as I had reason to expect : 
he was at once humane, considerate, and polite. He told 
me, that whatever the merit of my play might be, it could 
hardly prove a source of much advantage to me, if brought 
out so late in the season. He added, however, that its 
immediate production might be of incidental benefit to me. 
I was curious to know his meaning. 

" May I inquire," said he, Ci how you came to send 
your play to me ? It is true, I am a manager of the 
theatre, but I have never set myself up for a judge of 
dramatic performances ; and, indeed, have studiously 
abstained from taking upon myself any part of the re- 
sponsibility which attaches itself to a decision upon them. 



224 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



Now, there is a gentleman amongst us to whom it seems 
to me surprising that you had not applied " 

" Mr. Cibber ? " I inquired : " I have heard that Mr. 
Gibber is a great judge " 

" I do not mean Mr. Cibber," he returned. * Cibber is 
a worthy man, and has a due opinion of his own merit, as 
we all have ; although all of us do not choose to let the 
world see it. To say the truth, the man who wrote f The 
Careless Husband ' must be a man of some merit. But 
I meant a man of far higher pretensions — Sir Richard 
Steele." 

" I do not know, sir/' said I, cs whether any particulars 
of my unfortunate history may have reached your ear ; 
but I am indirectly connected with Colonel Brett, between 
whom and Sir Richard a very close intimacy subsists. I 
refrained from sending my play to him on that account, 
and on that account alone." 

" Mr. Savage/' said Wilks, " I do know your history, 
and so does Sir Richard Steele. You are quite mistaken, 
I assure you, if you suppose that any man could influence 
Sir Richard to do an injustice, or to pass a slight upon 
another ; and you are not less in error if you imagine that 
Colonel Brett would instigate him against you. I have 
heard the colonel speak of you in the highest terms." 

I explained that I had no such suspicion of Colonel 
Brett, and that my reason for declining to submit my play 
to Sir Richard was, lest it should be said that I owed any 
advancement I might attain to my mother's connections. 

ce To that person," I said, in conclusion, " I will owe 
nothing." 

" I thought," said he, " I beg pardon — I do not mean 
to be impertinently curious ; but I was told that you have 
made several efforts to prevail upon Mrs. Brett to acknow- 
ledge you." 

" I have written to her," I replied ; " and I have seen 
her — and now I have seen her for the last time. She 
may make herself easy. I shall trouble her no more." 

" And why so ? " 

u Because it is a trouble to me at the same time. Were 
she to offer me her love, or her money, I should despise 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



225 



her, if possible, more than I do now. She is a woman of 
spirit, Mr. Wilks ; I hope she may remain so. Her con- 
sistency in wickedness is her only title to my respect. The 
instant she relents, I shall scorn her." 

Mr. Wilks looked extremely uneasy while I was uttering 
this rodomontade. 

" A very sad pity/' he said, shrugging his shoulders. 
He presently changed the subject. " This is not your 
first play, I think, Mr. Savage ? " 

" No, sir, I confided a small piece to Mr. Bullock, 
who " 

" Placed the profits in his own pocket," interrupted 
Wilks. u Oh ! this money ! It ought to be worth more 
than it is, seeing the devices men practise to lay hold upon 
it. Mr. Bullock, sir, is a person who, it is to be hoped, 
loves God better than man, and, it is to be feared, loves 
himself above all. Enough of him. I have something 
pleasant to tell you. Sir Richard Steele is very desirous 
of seeing you. You will call upon me again in a few days, 
when T shall be able to tell you about what time we shall 
bring out your play. In the mean time, I shall have got 
from Sir Richard when it will be convenient that you 
should wait upon him/' 

I expressed my acknowledgments of his kindness, and 
saying I would trespass upon his time no longer, arose to 
take leave. 

He took me by the hand. " Pardon me — one moment." 
He stood for some time in apparent reflection, and then 
said, somewhat abruptly — u Mr. Savage, you see a man 
before you who has known more distress than he sincerely 
hopes you will ever be called upon to suffer ; who has, 
many a time wanted a friend to say to him, c Wilks, take 
this, or that — whatever it might be' " (he said these last 
words with an emphasis), " and who has sometimes found 
such a friend. You must permit me to show my sense of 
your merit in the manner most agreeable to myself." 

So saying, he placed a purse into my hand. 

I hesitated, and was about to decline it. I know not 
why I should have declined it ; for, if it be a disgrace to 
accept money, or any thing else, when it is freely offered, 



226 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



I cannot see how there can be any merit in the tender. 
But concerning this I shall have more heartfelt occasion to 
speak, in the sequel. I would not speak of it at alJ, now 
or hereafter, but that there are certain mean wretches in 
the world who take advantage of a man this way ; who 
offer money with a show of friendship, and think they 
purchase with it a flatterer and a slave ; and there are 
wretches still more mean, who will tell them that they have 
done so ; as, in their own case, indeed they have. 

I know that I obliged Wilks by taking the money. He 
told me so, and I believed him. And for many a sum of 
money was I his debtor (he would not have permitted me 
to say this) afterwards. And Wilks would have cut his 
tongue out with his right hand, and his right hand off with 
his left, if he could suppose it possible that his tongue would 
speak to me, or to others, of what his right hand had 
given. And he could not abide gratitude — such as 
gaspers, and hand-raisers, and oily-knee'd grovellers under- 
take — another merit of his; for many of your benefactors 
love to stand proxy for the Almighty. 

I took my leave of him with such thanks as my heart 
dictated, and sallied into the street more impressed, I am 
ashamed to say — but I should be more ashamed to keep 
it back — with a sense of my own merit, than of the gene- 
rosity of Mr. Wilks. As I was ever one of those who, 
whenever a stroke of unexpected good fortune befalls them, 
cannot keep it to themselves, but must forthwith impart 
it to somebody, I determined, my immmediate friend, 
Gregory, being engaged at the Custom House, upon seek- 
ing Merchant. A man of business, however methodical, 
is sometimes missing. You cannot light upon him. But 
a man without money, who hangs loose upon the town, is 
always to be found, I took my chance of Merchant in 
Drury Lane, and found him there. 

He stared at the elegance of my apparel. u Eh ? bow 
is this ? " said he, (( what slice of a rainbow has fallen to 
your share? But I forgot. You lodge with a tailor. 
Come, come, you outstrip your beard. Poor Martin ! but 
martins build in strange places." 

I did not think it worth while to undeceive him, 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



227 



" Why, you know. Merchant, a man must make a 
figure in the world, if he wishes to hold his footing in it. 
But you look melancholy. We must dine together." 

iC Life is a scene of misery," said he; cc but that every 
body knows who has stared up at the oracular mouth of 
his grandmother. Poor Lovell lies dead above stairs/' 

I was shocked beyond expression. I had seen him 
only a few days previously. 

u He went off at three days' notice/' resumed Merchant, 
ee and, of course, I am very sorry for it. But I am most 
sorry that he should have insisted upon seeing me in his 
last moments. Such scenes give a fellow the spleen. 
Can't a man go on a long journey without asking all his 
friends to see him off?" 

" What did he say to you ?" I inquired. 

iC Don't ask me. He wished chiefly that you should be 
sent for, saying it would be a salutary lesson to you as 
long as you lived. He had turned over a new leaf, as he 
called it, during the last week or two, and was going on, 
I believe, fairly enough ; Stephens had hopes of him ; 
when, as Fate would have it, Death comes and trips up 
his heels. You should have seen him, or rather, you 
should not have seen him, last night. There was Stephens 
by his side, holding his hand ; his companions, myself 
included, standing about the room, talking in knots of two 
or three — poking their fingers, raising their shoulders, 
lifting their eyebrows at each other. Whispers — e depend 
upon this ' — c I'm sure of that ' — c poor fellow ' — e his 
time's come ■ — and more of that kind. Tomkins, the 
host, and his wife, in a corner, in tribulation for their long 
score — the only sincere mourners present. And he ! 
heavens ! I shall never forget it ! raving, all unprepared, 
hideous surprise — all overtaken — c What is this ?* ■ c How 
is this ? ' e Why is this ? ' with a high voice, as though 
not himself, but a strange spirit were calling forth from 
him, wringing his hands, lamenting his past deeds — his 
misdeeds, he called them — adjuring us all, as we hoped 
for mercy, to pray for him first, and ourselves afterwards." 
" This is a very frightful account," said I. There was 
Q 2 



228 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



something in Merchant's manner of telling it that made it 
so. ci He died shortly afterwards — I hope easily ? * 

ee I believe he did. None but a doctor, or a madman, 
could have stayed in the room till he did die. He's gone; 
but these scenes do one no good, and I'll tell you why. 
It is not a living but a dying man that speaks ; and a 
dying man who wants to live ! It is fear that cries out in 
agony, not penitence that prays. Therefore, it proves 
nothing — it teaches nothing. Poor man ! he talked of 
his vices — his follies — his crimes : and what he would 
do if he were permitted to live, which never would have 
been done. The best man that ever lived might have 
died thus." 

" In his senses, as poor Lovell was, he could not," said 
I (the scene I had just heard had set me upon moralising). 
ec What he meant by his crimes probably was, the op- 
portunities that had been afforded him which he had 
wasted. I question whether men of good intentions, but 
of no active perseverance or vigour, do not, on their death- 
beds, feel more acutely the good things they have omitted 
to do, than the bad actions they have done." 

" A truce to this," cried Merchant; <c if you can derive 
any moral benefit from what 1 have told you, I am glad 
of it. Now, let us have some of your dinner — not here, 
though — this is too sad a place to eat in. Let us to 
Covent Garden ; and forget our sorrows, awhile, over a 
steak and a bottle." 

i£ But how," he resumed, as we walked along, u have 
you contrived to get some money together ? Have you 
had a dream of an old vexed fellow, with a gash in his 
windpipe, waving you forth to an old tree in the middle 
of a field ; and have you borrowed a spade and dug, and 
dug till, lo ! the aged man's ill-gotten wealth in bags, ac- 
curately labelled ? " 

" I have lately met with an old school-fellow," said 
I, Ci who has stood my friend by advancing me a few 
guineas." 

" An old school-fellow, with the old play-ground feel- 
ings?" he cried, " how I should like to see such a rarity. 
He should belaid up in Don Saltero's museum. My flock. 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



229 



with whom I was folded, have got them into wolves' cloth- 
ing, and the hides fit them to a miracle." 

After dinner, when the wine had begun to exercise its 
influence upon us, Merchant discoursed somewhat wildly. 

" You cannot conceive/' he said, " how Lovell's death 
has disconcerted me; I would say ( afflicted,' but that I 
don't mean to permit any thing in this world, that may 
happen to myself or to others, to deprive me of that most 
especial attribute of man — laughter. When a man ceases 
to be able to laugh, he ought to lie with his ancestors, and 
make way for the next generation. But my heart is heavy, 
too, Dick, and all the wine in the cellar over which we 
are, I suppose, sitting, couldn't heave it into its right place. 
My honest parents are dead — - and they were a worthy 
couple — or I would take the old lady to task for having 
made so favourable a report of my young faculties, and 
remonstrate with the old gentleman for having believed 
her. Oh ! that he had merely taught me to read without 
minding my stops, and to spell without regarding my or- 
thography — put me out to some trade or calling — so 
should I have rounded into a worthy citizen, with a fat 
wife and children of the same pattern, talking very good 
sense in very bad grammar ; my highest felicity a lord 
mayor's feast; my greatest affliction, vertigo after the 
custard pudding." 

" You don't mean this ? " said I, laughing. " Come, 
come, you have got the vapours." 

' f I do mean this, and more than this do I mean. Would 
that I were fit to carry burdens, as poor Tom Otway 
makes his Jaffier say; a chairman grunting under half a 
dowager, or a porter with an impregnable skull, and a 
wholesome bias towards strong beer. But the author- 
business ! ugh ! " with a shudder. " Well may an author 
impress his brains upon prepared rags, with a pen of a 
foolish bird, that is driven with a rag. To write for 
Gazetteers and Courants, daily or weekly ! To invent ru- 
mours of wars for things like Mist's Journal, or positive 
pitched battles for Dyer's Letter ! To make light of the 
ten commandments ! To do murder for sixpence — steal 
for a groat, and bear false witness against thy neighbour for 
Q S 



230 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



a mere nothing ! Is it not monstrous ? Stephens wants 
me to make the dying speeches, with a brief account of the 
sinners, to be ready for the commonalty as soon as the 
culprits step out of the cart. But no, thank you, I'm for 
an honest calling. I've set my heart upon it." 

" And what may that be ?" I inquired. 

iC I mean to turn highwayman," he replied: " the worst 
of it is, I fear I lack one requisite that I never can acquire, 
and two that I have no hope of acquiring. I want three 
things — courage, pistols, and a good horse. What a 
glorious profession ! The bracing air of Hounslow, Finch- 
ley, or Enfield Chase ! The healthy exercise ! Only 
think of coming upon an old hunks at a hand-gallop, with 
a smart 6 stand and deliver.' Then to mark his horrid 
prunella phiz, when the pistol is put to his large mush- 
room-looking ear. What a falling of limber jaws — what 
a setting of grey-green eyes — what a twitching of the 
villanous fingers, when they are compelled at length to 
draw forth the money he had just wrung from the widow 
and orphans. And yet," he added gravely, e< men meet 
no applause from the world at large for doing these things ; 
on the contrary, they are invariably, when caught, hanged 
for them." 

" The knowledge of which," said I, " will probably 
deter you from the pursuit of a profession which obtains 
so little countenance from society. But I must leave you. 
I promised to meet my friend Gregory at six o'clock." 

Having settled the bill and discharged the waiter, we 
were about to leave, when Merchant took me by the arm. 

" I don't know," said he, " whether, to act consistently, 
I ought not to knock you down and rifle your pockets ; 
but I have still some of the foolish weakness of the old 
man upon me. I say, then, can you lend me half a 
guinea ? " 

I placed the money in his hand, with an intimation that 
he might have more if he pleased. 

" No, no," said he, " this will be sufficient for a time, 
and this shall be the last time, Richard Savage. If you 
suppose I have discarded my principles, do you think I have 
lost my memory ? Hang it, it's too bad to take it from 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



231 



you at all, but — Stephens, I am your faithful rogues' 
chronicler. Not a thief but shall make such a last dying 
speech, as, were he alive, he'd wish to steal ; and I'll set 
all the old women roaring, with ( Alack ! alack ! that such 
a hopeful youth should be cut off in the blossom of his 
days.' I've laid hold of a bright thought. Stephens de- 
serves hanging if he don't disburse liberally for it. What 
do you think of ' The Malefactor's Manual, or the Guide 
to the Gibbet,' with directions for taking it easy on the 
c eventful day ' — happy phrase, stolen from Addison's 
Cato ; the proper way of smelling at the nosegay — the 
modish manner of sucking the orange, with speeches for 
all ages, from fourteen to threescore and ten. What do 
you think of that, maker of plays ? Isn't that good gold 
to a bookseller ?" 

iC It would have a villanous large sale, I dare say." 

6C If every rogue bought it, what a sale, Dick ! why, it 
would be in almost every body's hands. I should keep a 
copy by me, for fear of appearing particular, and give 
one to you, lest you might want it." 

Merchant, I dare affirm it, felt as deeply as any man 
the loss of his friend, Jack Lovell ; and yet could he yield 
himself up to this light, trivial talk ! Let him not be con- 
demned. It is well for men when they can thwart the 
foul fiend thus. 

At my second interview with Mr. Wilks, he told me 
that my play would be produced immediately. Upon this 
occasion he showed his friendship towards me by caution- 
ing me against encouraging a sanguine expectation of its 
success. My first piece had been a short one ; my second 
was considerably longer, and of a more ambitious charac- 
ter. Without wounding my self-love, he managed to make 
me acquainted with his real opinion of the merit of my 
performance. I discovered that it was not a high one. In 
justice to myself, I must declare that no length of time 
had elapsed since its completion, before I was myself con- 
scious of its many imperfections. He must be a very dull 
or a very clever fellow, whose composition, at eighteen 
years of age, will be viewed with complacency by himself 
six months afterwards. I had seen very little of life — 
Q 4 



232 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



an exact knowledge of which, or of the class of which it 
is his purpose to delineate, is indispensable to the writer of 
comedy. I knew nothing of love — how should I ? and 
yet I must needs write upon it. I may say, nevertheless, 
that there are few modern dramatists, whatever may be 
their success with the town, who appear to have acquired 
a more intimate knowledge of the passion than myself. 
There is no love in modern comedy. When that which is 
substituted for it is nothing much worse — which too often 
it is — it is a kind of traditional concomitant to the plot 
— the machinery that winds up the marriage, in spite of 
the obstinate guardian, the perverse parents, or the indus- 
trious rival. 

" I have not yet succeeded in getting Sir Richard Steele 
to appoint a morning on which to receive you/' said 
Wilks, when the talk concerning my play was ended. 
u He is party-mad, just now, and has been very much dis- 
composed by a suspension of friendship which has occurred 
between himself and Mr. Addison, whom he venerates 
beyond any other human being. He is, however, as 
kindly disposed towards you as ever. I shall take an early 
opportunity of entrapping him into an appointment from 
which he cannot escape." 

u On my account, I beg that you will not/' said I, co- 
louring. " It is far from my wish to be, or to appear, 
troublesome to Sir Richard Steele." 

" You do not know Sir Richard," he replied, " or you 
would not be offended, as I perceive you are, at a seeming 
slight on his part. Not a worthier man breathes, or one 
who could be more hurt to know that he had hurt the 
feelings of another. You must not look upon him as one 
who affects the great man. It is only your very little 
men, I believe, who wish to be thought your very great 
ones ; and they only succeed, after all, in showing how 
very little they are." 

I was very glad to be assured of this ; for your guar 
men were ever my abhorrence. I have, indeed, known 
considerable men, who have carried about with them an air 
of greatness ; but I have ever thought that it became 
them even less gracefully than pretenders. There is, in 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



c 233 



in fact, a pretension about it, the more odious by how 
much less the necessity for pretence. 

At length, my play was brought out, in the summer 
time, at the end of the season. It was indifferently per- 
formed, to an audience more patient than plentiful, who 
neither visited my deficiencies upon the players, nor their 
sins upon me. In a word, to have done with it for ever, 
" Love in a Veil/' was, as Dryden says, 

" not damn'd or hiss'd, 

But with a kind civility dismiss'd. 

There was a glance at parting ; such a look, 

As bade me not give o'er for one rebuke." 

At all events, I was willing to think so, and the compli- 
ments I received upon it from my friends established that 
opinion within me. 

After the performance, I went behind the scenes, whither 
Mr. Wilks invited my attendance. He introduced me to 
the players, as one likely to be more intimately associated 
with them ; and drawing me aside, whispered me that Sir 
Richard Steele had seen my play, and was waiting in an 
adjoining room to be introduced to me. In some pertur- 
bation I followed him thither. 

The manner of Sir Richard's reception of me was such 
as to relieve me at once of all embarrassment. 

cc I have got you at last, you rogue, you/' said he, 
shaking me heartily by the hand. u Be seated. Well, 
our play " 

<( Did as well as might be expected," said Wilks, hastily. 
{< Do you not think so, Sir Richard ? " 

" Not a word about it," he replied. " It could not have 
succeeded better at this time of the year. It does very 
great credit to your abilities Mr. Savage ; and is a promise 
of something better — much better. Excuse me." 

cc I am proud, indeed, of your good opinion of me, Sir 
Richard/' said I. 

' f Good lad- — ingenuous, manly, open," turning to Wilks. 
" Come, you must sup with me at Will's, I cannot tempt 
you, Wilks, I suppose ? " 

" You know my failing," said the other, smiling. 

ef Your practice will hardly reclaim us young gentlemen, 



234 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



however/' said Sir Richard. " Mr. Wilks pays so little 
regard to appearance, Savage, as to go home to his wife ; 
and so little respect to the town, as to say that he can 
make himself happy at home. The fact is, neither the 
men nor the women believe him. The men cannot think 
how he can be happy at home, with his wife in the house: 
and the women cannot imagine how a lady, so vilely treated, 
can suffer him to be happy." 

" Better than the best is," returned Wilks ; c( we do not 
regard what the men and women say, or what they think." 

"Nay, my life on't, they mean you no harm/' said 
Steele ; " poor things ! it is some merit in them that they 
can think of any body but themselves, even for a moment. 
Come, namesake, Will's is but a step — we'll walk there. 
The carriage shall call for us in two hours." 

When we got there, he ordered supper, and proposed 
that we should retire into a private room. (e I want you 
to myself for an hour or two to-night/' he said, leading 
the way. 

Supper being ended, and wine before us, he requested 
me to relate every particular of my life, from my earliest 
recollection, entreating me especially, when I came to that 
portion of my narrative w T hich referred to my mother, to for- 
bear all comments, " which/' said he, " like spectacles to 
a good eye-sight, only obscure and confuse the appearances 
of things." 

Already charmed by the benevolence and frankness of 
my patron, I did so with alacrity. In obedience to his 
wish, I stifled those reproaches which the barbarity of my 
mother, whenever I had occasion to speak of it, called to 
my lips. I painted such a picture, nevertheless, as I be- 
lieve, required no heightening. When I had done, he 
took me by both hands, and said, impressively, — 

"The inhumanity of your mother, Mr. Savage, entitles 
you to expect to find, in every man of feeling, a father." 

Upon this, concluding that his prohibition was with- 
drawn, I was was about to break forth into invectives 
against Mrs. Brett, when he checked me with an uplifted 
hand, and a shudder of the shoulders. "Oh! do not 
speak of her," he said emphatically. 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



235 



ce Seething the kid in its mother's milk. Ah ! " he said, 
musingly, after a long pause — ec that's a delicate device 
that would just suit her. How comes it, sir," he said, ad- 
dressing me suddenly, (e that you shall find the same per- 
son humane and pitiless — generous and niggardly — pious 
and profane ? Have we, all of us, two souls — one given 
us of God; the other lent us by Satan ? " 

" That I do not know/' I replied. " If we have, I 
fear some of us make more use of that which is only lent, 
than of that which has been given us." 

" I spoke at random/' he returned, cc let it pass. The 
theory was charitably raised by his friends, in behalf of 
Lorenzo de Medicis. That mother of yours, Mrs. Brett, 
has good qualities — fine qualities ; you smile ; but believe 
me she has. I know her well ; nay, I will say thus much, 
I have reason to be grateful to her. I will tell you at an- 
other time why I am grateful. It is impossible but she 
must sometimes feel, and deeply too, her injustice — her 
inhuman cruelty to you." 

" I hope she does, for her own sake," I remarked with 
some bitterness. 

" And for yours, / hope," he answered quickly. " But 
we must do something for you if you will permit us. You 
will call upon me very early to-morrow morning. That 
reminds me — where do you live ? " 

" At Wapping," I brought out with considerable reluc- 
tance. 

He laughed heartily. " At Wapping ! What in the 
name of Drake, Blake, and Benbow, took you to that land 
of oakum and tobacco?" 

I explained that I was lodging with the friendly fellow 
who had aided my escape from the crimps ; and I took the 
opportunity of recalling Martin to his recollection, who had 
served under him in the Coldstream's. 

" I remember him well — a man of a terrible bodily 
strength ; and a very worthy creature. Pray, make my 
service to him, and beg his acceptance of these two pieces 
from me. I shall be very glad to see him." 

I could dwell too long upon that — the happiest night of 
my life. Not a word uttered during those three brief 



236 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



hours, but I remember it vividly. Sir Richard Steele ! 
that name can never be uttered by me — the noble being 
that bore it can never be recalled to my memory without 
emotion. I had found a friend, and he was a tried and 
proved one. Heigho ! that life, short as it is, should out- 
live so many friendships! Samuel Johnson, known too 
late, I retain still, and one— but of her I am soon to speak. 



CHAPTER VI. 

IN WHICH SAVAGE FINDS A LIBERAL PATRON, AND AT THE DESIRE 
OF HIS OLD SCHOOLMASTER RENEWS HIS ACQUAINTANCE WITH 
SINCLAIR, WITH A SPECIMEN OF MR. MYTE's FINESSE. 

Sir Richard Steele soon put me upon a footing of the 
most familiar and agreeable equality. When I waited 
upon him on the following morning, I found him brimful of 
schemes for my advantage, which he poured forth from 
his generous heart in huddling succession, mightily pleased 
with each, but dwelling upon none. At length, a con- 
sciousness of the vanity of these speculations appeared 
suddenly to present itself to him. 

(t Dick," he said, " we shall fall upon some means of 
making a man of you. You must expect but small ad- 
vantage from your ingenious play. Towards the close of 
the season we usually treat the town to stale dishes, which, 
if they have a strong digestion, they can relish as heartily 
as the most poignant delicacies w T e could set before them : 
if they have no appetite, what signifies it how they fare ? 
But I should like to hear you speak. Have you formed 
no plans for your future life ? Your birth may claim 
something higher than a seat among the rabble, or the pre- 
carious position of an unprotected wit*" 

I played the hypocrite in my reply. I entertained a 
strong repugnance against the modes, and forms, and obli- 
gations of business of whatsoever description ; and had my 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



237 



natural bias been permitted to determine my course of life, 
I had probably owned that nothing to do, with a small com- 
petence, would have squared with my inclinations more ex- 
actly than a large income contingent upon the exercise of 
laborious diligence. 

" The situation in which I have long found myself/' I 
replied, " has not been such as to suggest the notion or to 
justify the expectation of any settled scheme of life ; but 
if my abilities were thought equal to the discharge of the 
duties of some subordinate public employment, that would 
be the destination I should, of all things, prefer." 

" A comfortable place under the government, in which 
a man's opinions are left free to d — the minister if he 
don't like him?" cried Sir Richard ; "ay, that, indeed, 
is worth thinking upon. We must see to that. As to 
your abilities, they are not needed, and the less display of 
em. when you obtain your office, the better. You would 
not willingly be looked upon as an intruder." 

" An intruder ! Sir Richard ! " 

" These appointments, Mr. Savage, have been so long 
the reward of dunces, that they may justly complain when 
a man of parts succeeds to one. If a genius can't starve, 
still less can a dunce. There is no precedent for him — 
there is for the other. If the vessel of state were not 
manned by dunces, high and low, legislation would soon 
be at an end — the trade would be knocked on the 
head. A virtuous ambition must be encouraged among the 
people. Now, under our blessed system, not a thick head 
in the kingdom but may reasonably aspire to the highest 
offices." 

Sir Richard plunged once more into a consideration of 
what was to be done for me ; but after devising a variety 
of excellent plans, a multitude of unobjectionable schemes, 
he gave up the task in despair- ee It's like a man buying 
a cane," said he : H the fellow shows him so many, and 
they're all so good, he doesn't know which to choose. We 
must put off this subject. Chance frequently does that 
for a man which he can't do for himself. Let us give 
chance fair play. In the mean time I shall make you an 
allowance, and you may as well take the first quarter on 



238 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



the nail ; for I have so many invitations to meet his ma- 
jesty's trusty and well-beloved chief justice in Westminster 
Hall, which the sheriff kindly undertakes to deliver, that I 
may not have a guinea about me this day week." 

I made several objections to this proposal. I had no 
sort of right to expect any such evidence of friendship ; 
and although the money was sufficiently desirable, I by no 
means liked to be under so heavy an obligation. I had 
lain under too many already. Indeed, hitherto I had 
almost entirely subsisted upon contributions. Accordingly 
I respectfully declined his generous offer. 

" 'S life ! " cried Sir Richard — ec here's a man declines 
money when it's freely offered. That bodes no good ; I 
mustn't stir out to-day. After sunshine cometh rain. My 
good child, I insist upon your taking it. You don't know 
what a designer I am. I mean to have a return for it in 
meal or in malt, as the hucksters say." Then stepping up 
to me, and whispering in my ear, " Do you know that I 
dorit know whether we may not be more nearly connected 
one of these days ? " 

cc I do not understand, Sir Richard : more nearly con- 
nected ! " 

He bestowed a wise look upon me, and placed his well- 
laden purse into my hand gingerly. " You do not un- 
derstand — nor do I mean you to understand — yet. 
Understanding comes of the gods, and comes as there is 
occasion for it, by little and little. 

' Take the good the gods provide thee ; 

Lovely Thais sits beside thee* " 

He smiled, nodding his head. " Time will clear up the 
mystery. The thought this moment crossed me. I mean 
to entertain it. Leave Wapping without delay. You 
ought to perform quarantine in the Tower before you come 
into Covent Garden. I fear you'll reek of that part of 
London for some time to come." 

The reader may be sure that I went my ways in high 
spirits, blessing Fortune that she had at length greased her 
wheel, and given it an upward turn in my favour. I pre- 
pared to second Sir Richard's designs on my behalf without 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



239 



delay ; and accordingly, when I got home, I communi- 
cated to Martin and his wife all that had so favourably be- 
fallen me; and drawing out my purse (so lately another's)' 
insisted upon coming to a settlement of the account be- 
tween us. 

Martin heard these good tidings with an evident, but 
with a grave and serious satisfaction ; and having, after 
some friendly contention, consented to receive a very poor, 
and, as I thought, insufficient requital of his kindness, 
which he forthwith handed over to his helpmate, he con- 
gratulated me on securing so excellent and valuable a friend 
as his old captain, in homely but plain and honest terms, 
such as the polite (for even to affect a heart is vulgar) 
would not be guilty of such bad taste as to employ. He 
presently ascended to his garret, after a rough and hearty 
shake of my hand, a strong invitation to come and see 
them shortly, and a warm wish for my happiness in the 
mean time. 

Mrs. Martin, for her part, relieved her spirits by copious 
floods of tears. 

" W e had become so used to you, Mr. Richard," she 
sobbed, u that it's almost as bad to part with you, as 
though — hoping you'll forgive me, dear sir — you was a 
child of our own. You were so quiet-like, and regular. 
Who'd ha' thought, while you was a-sitting in that back 
room, you was a-making up that bootiful play. La, me ! 
how I did laugh last night at it, and so did Martin, too, 
though he's not one that's given over- much to laughing. We 
don't want the money. I wish you'd take it back again/' 

" Indeed I shall not, my dear Mrs. Martin ; but if 
you would give me a glass of your brandy, I should be 
happy to drink your health and Martin's ; and to wish 
you every happiness." 

4< That's a dear ! " cried Mrs. Martin. " I shall lay by 
this money against Simon comes. Poor youth ! he's none 
too much, I warrant him. A glass of brandy ! to be 
sure I will ; and a drop of right Nantz, as they call it, it 
is, I promise you. We buy it of a man that can answer 
for it." 

" What ! smuggled, Mrs. Martin ! oh, fie ! " 



240 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



" Hush ! " said she, with a mock frown ; tc don't speak 
that ugly word. It's called duty-free. They tell me no 
one's a right to pay duty on this side of the Custom House, 
and that seems very good sense. Let those pay it that 
have nothing else to do with their money. We have, 
worse luck ! " 

So saying, she produced the bottle, and some bread and 
cheese. 

" A bite with it, ! ' she resumed, u keeps it from doing 
harm, and getting into the head. Ah, Mr. Savage/' handing 
me a glass, cc I fear you are a very, very proud young 
gentleman." 

(< I proud, my good Mrs. Martin ! you never were more 
mistaken." 

*? Not proud, like'; that's not quite what I mean. Not 
one of them that hold their heads up so high they can't 
see the puddles, and so make themselves in a worse plight 
than those that can ; not one of those that think the poor, 
that's no scholars, wasn't made by the same God Almighty, 
and wasn't going to Him as well as themselves. But you've 
a very high stomach, Mr. Savage, you have." 

" I really do not know what you mean," said I, " or 
in what way I have shown it" 

" I was determined I'd tell you of it one of these days, 
and now I mean to. Now, don't you think I knew what 
it meant, when you used to go out for a walk, as you said, 
just when our dinner was put upon the table, and all be- 
cause you was above being beholden to us poor folks. 
Many a meals' victuals have you ;gone without because 
you was too proud to own you wanted one. You may 
colour ; that's a sign it's the truth I'm speaking. If my 
master hadn't held me by main force, and said I should 
have offended you out of all forgiveness, I'd have up and 
told you of it often. Deary me ! well may they call it 
empty pride, when it makes people go empty. What are a 
few meals' victuals, I should like to know ? and if " 

Pride is a poor, skulking, scoundrel quality — if it be 
not a disease, after all — and never looks so much like 
meanness, as when it has been detected playing its sad an! 
sorry pranks before honest people. In some confusion, 1 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



241 



cut the thread of the good woman's discourse, by an earnest 
*and lying assurance, that she was utterly mistaken ; and 
reinstated myself in her best opinion, by promising to dine 
with her that very day. 

In a few days I was comfortably settled in handsome 
lodgings in Gerrard Street, to which in due time I invited 
Gregory and Merchant, with such other friends as I selected 
out of a daily increasing acquaintance, picked up for the 
most part at taverns. To Gregory, whose excellent quali- 
ties day by day won upon me, I became greatly attached. 
The associations of boyhood endeared him to me, and there 
was but slight alteration in him. He was as ardent, 
generous, and high-spirited as ever; but he had parted with 
a little of that elastic buoyancy which so well became him, 
and which many good fellows relinquish as the price of 
their enrolment amongst men ; and which many good fel- 
lows retain too, for the sake of being boys all their life- 
time, My friendship for Merchant was of a totally different 
character. Of his principles it were idle to speak ; for he 
candidly admitted that he did not know what principles 
were, as motives to action. He was accustomed to say he 
would never allow that a finger-post was a walking-stick, 
and that if men were not actuated by their hearts, what 
was the use of the throbbing superfluity ? In a word, he 
held, that if every human being breathing were asked what 
his principles were, you would get the same answer from all, 
and that no man ever went morally wrong without being 
conscious of it ; but that men did go wrong frequently, 
nevertheless. Without valuing Merchant very highly, I 
liked the man. He was no hypocrite, at all events, and had a 
heart. I wish I could say as much of some whose virtues, 
* as our rarer monsters are," are more talked of than seen. 

With Langley and Myte also I renewed my acquaint- 
ance, and introduced Gregory to them. Myte was greatly 
struck with my friend, who could fall in with his humour, 
and applaud and enjoy his fooleries. The little man soon 
became mightily solicitous to learn what were the speciali- 
ties of Gregory's income, and whence derived ; what ex- 
pectations of a direct nature were his; and whether he 
could reasonably raise collateral surmises founded upon 

R 



242 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



waning aunts and grandmothers in the socket. To these 
questions., from time to time propounded, I was enabled to 
return such answers as caused Myte to rub his ears, and 
to impart friction to his legs with exceeding satisfaction. 

" For/' said he, iC there's Vandal — just his age, I take 
it — lorn damsel ! I don't mind telling you, but I feel 
that I'm a shocking old vagabond, deserving of mercy 
neither from man nor matron, till I've secured a worthy 
Adam for her. I've seen her shooting love-bolts at mad 
Tom for some time past ; but, hang him ! like his name- 
sake, I suspect he's got his senses about him, for all that. 
Do you think Tom's a-cold ? or are his eyes pebbles ? If 
the man's blind, I'm sure I shall be happy to be his dog. 
And I'll lead him to one who'll restore his sight, and be a 
jewel in it all the days of his life." 

Although Myte was, or affected to be, unconscious of 
the true state of the case, I had learned the whole of it 
some weeks before. Tom was neither cold nor blind ; and 
downcast eyes, involuntary blushes, and flutters not to be 
restrained, whenever he appeared, evinced pretty intelligibly 
that Mistress Martha had taken an infection similar to that 
she had communicated. She was, perhaps, sweetly ignorant 
of the malady she had caused and taken. I say this, out 
of deference to those more accurate judges of woman- 
kind, who conceive that it derogates from the character of 
innocence to suppose it to know the cause, or even to be 
aware of the existence, of its own sensations ; but I beg 
leave, in spite of my "perhaps," to retain my own opinion, 
which is, that when a woman is in love, she is the first to 
know it. 

I was delighted at observing the growing attachment 
between Myte's darling and my friend Gregory. For both 
their sakes I was glad. They were, to use a hacknied 
phrase, formed for each other. The disposition of both 
was to be happy; and the deuce is in it, thought I (and 
doubtless they thought so too), if they can't contrive to be 
perfectly so. A sweeter-tempered young woman than 
Martha Myte, or a man of finer disposition than Gregory, 
were never coupled in this world. 

Sir Richard Steele did not know how to assume the 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



243 



patron, nor was I moulded in the nature, or practised iu 
the arts, of the dependant. I considered him as my friend, 
entitled to my thanks for his benefits, and no more. He 
was uneasy when I tendered them, and sometimes forbade 
me, under pain of his displeasure, to hint a syllable of 
gratitude or obligation. In the mean time, he introduced 
me to his friends, of whom few men deservedly possessed 
a greater number — admitted me as a constant guest at his 
table — allowed me the free use of his library, and supplied 
me with money liberally, although, it must be confessed, at 
irregular intervals. 

The good word of Sir Richard Steele was no common 
recommendation, for no man was better beloved ; but he 
was not satisfied with this. He descanted on my mis- 
fortunes and my merit upon all occasions. My story be- 
came publicly known, enough at least of it to excite an 
interest in my favour ; and the recognition of me in society 
with Colonel Brett, at the instance of Sir Richard, while 
it preserved as much of my mother's reputation as re- 
mained to her, entitled me to a station from which she was 
never afterwards able to dislodge me. I had been born an 
earl, had she willed it ; it was never within the scope of 
her power to degrade me below a gentleman. 

Two years were spent in this agreeable intercourse. 
During this period, very little had been said about settling 
me in the world, and still less, indeed nothing, had been 
done towards it. Steele's repugnance against moving in 
his own affairs, until they became so embarrassed that any 
movement of his rendered them more hopelessly involved ; 
and his preference of shifts and expedients, when the evil 
day came, to a well-devised and systematic plan whereby 
he might release himself from his difficulties, were known 
to every body, and to none better than to myself. It were 
the most unreasonable thing in the world to expect that 
such a man should have devoted much time to the study of 
my advancement. Besides, he protested that he required 
my services. I was useful to him in the arrangement of 
his accounts ; if, Heaven bless the mark ! a man can be 
said to be useful, who places the exigencies of another in 
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244 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



so clear a light as to scare him from a consideration of 
them. 

I must not omit to mention that once or twice he hinted 
darkly about some cunning contrivance that had long lain 
in the innermost recesses of his brain, by which my for- 
tune and my happiness were to be at once established ; but 
whenever I pressed him to divulge the cherished secret, he 
shook his head knowingly, and placing his finger on his 
nose, uttered solemnly the word " Wait ! " — and I did 
so. To wait for Sir Richard Steele was, in truth, to 
tarry; but to wait with him on the bank, was better than 
sailing without him on the stream. Happy days ! for ever 
gone. Well ! they are gone ; but better, perhaps, are to 
come — a softer radiance before I sink into utter darkness. 
That morning of my life was bright enough ; but I will 
have no sunshine taken from my west — I cannot afford it. 

I had now been, as I have said, two years under the 
protection of Sir Richard, when Burridge came once more 
to town. He called upon me at my lodgings. I had 
reason to believe, not having heard from him, that my 
obstinate refusal of his kind offer of protection had offended 
him. Time had worn out his displeasure; for he returned 
my warm greetings with great cordiality. 

" And so I hear from Brett, upon whom I called this 
morning/' said he, ' c and who told me where you were to 
be found, that you have entertained the town with two 
plays ; and with a story — your mother's I mean — which 
will one of these days, perhaps, be turned into a play ; 
and, moreover, that you have acquired the friendship of 
Sir Richard Steele. You esteem and admire him, of 
course ? " 

" Next to yourself, my dear sir, there is no man breath- 
ing whom I so much admire and so highly esteem/' 

" That to myself — humph ! — no flattery, Dick ; I'm 
not worth it. I wish you had allowed me to be your 
friend, in spite of Sir Richard, whose nature, however, is 
the kindest and the most noble I ever knew in man. If 
ours were a world of heroes, Steele would be one of the 
greatest ; but being as it is, a system of grovellers, he 
stands no chance against the knaves/' 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



245 



As Burridge could hardly say any thing that contained 
or implied a praise of my patron, without gaining my 
hearty concurrence ; and as he told me many things that 
reflected the highest honour upon him, our conversation 
lasted a considerable time. I amused him by a recital of 
many of the foibles and follies of our common friend, at 
which he laughed heartily ; detailing in return several 
whimsical adventures in which they had been engaged, 
illustrative of his social character and peculiarities, which 
my intimate knowledge of the man caused me to relish 
exceedingly. 

" Why, my dear sir," I inquired, u do you not renew 
your friendship with Sir Richard ? He often speaks of 
you with a degree of warmth that shows his affection for 
you has suffered no diminution." 

(C He is very kind," replied Burridge ; Ci but that he 
ever was. No, Dick, it cannot be. I would rather live 
upon the memory of past happiness than seek to renew it. 
Besides, it could not be renewed. The charm would be 
broken, and no new spell in its place. And take this with 
you ; I have lived so long alone, independent of my former 
friends, that I have made it, and will continue to make it, 
a point of pride — of morbid pride, if you will, to keep 
aloof from them." 

cc Sir Richard says it is your pride, I confess," said I. 

" He knows me very well. He is perfectly right. But, 
zounds ! if it will serve the turn of an old fellow's humour, 
to sustain his self-love at the expense of his wisdom, why 
shall not an old fellow serve it? I am altered of late 
years, and for the worse ; he remains, it seems, unchanged. 
He would find me morose and cynical. I should discover 
him to be trivial and light. He would laugh at me. I 
should look grave at him. He would think me a dullard. 
I should think him a coxcomb. No, no, it won't do. 
Alcibiades, in the play, went in search of Timon, but 
when he found him, Timon did not thank him for his 
company." 

I said no more, but while Burridge looked out at the 
window, I busied myself in conjecturing how any man 
could solace or stimulate himself with the suggestions of a 

R 3 



246 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



false and mortifying pride, and cheat himself into the be- 
lief, that to be independent of the world, is to be self- 
dependent. All is not right within, when all looks wrong 
without. The man is sufficient to his own happiness ; and 
to take a delight in one's own misery, and in misery of 
one's own making, is to have the free exercise of one's 
brains, and to use them backwards. The miller grinds 
himself, and ho ! ho ! quoth he, what glorious grist ! 

' I have not yet told you," he said, turning suddenly 
from the window, " what, beside the pleasure of seeing 
you, brought me hither to-day. Your old schoolfellow, 
Sinclair, is in town. He has left Cambridge, and fraught 
with health, wealth, and spirits, is impatient to see what is 
to be seen, hear what is to be heard, and know what is to 
be known of that which is not worth knowing — good 
company. I hope you will become acquainted with him.*' 
(C If Mr. Sinclair wishes it, I cannot make a moment's 
objection." 

" I have not spoken to him concerning it," returned 
Burridge, " but 1 will do so. You must discard the past 
from your memory — no, you need not do that. Remem- 
ber that you were boys, and that boys grow into men, and 
that men are not boys. To judge of the man from the 
boy, is to refuse an apple in August, because it was con- 
foundedly sour in May. You will find him greatly im- 
proved. I am much mistaken if he do not ripen into a 
fine fellow. You are aware, I believe, that he is highly 
connected, and that he inherits a considerable fortune. 
His friendship may be of service to you." 

While I disclaimed any desire to cultivate the friendship 
of Mr. Sinclair on the score of any worldly benefit that 
might accrue to me from an intimacy with him, I professed 
myself, and with truth, very glad of the opportunity pre- 
sented to me of shaking him by the hand. I told Burridge 
that his partial kindness to me, and the advantage I had 
gained over Sinclair on my entrance at school, had, I felt, 
depressed him below his just level ; and that 1 had fre- 
quently wished, and had made several overtures to him, 
that we should come to a better understanding. (To say 
the truth, had it been my own case, I could not have en- 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



247 



dured the superior importance and influence of a junior, 
even though he were willing to hear his faculties meekly, 
as, in justice to myself, I must say, I endeavoured to do.) 
I concluded by begging him to bring Mr. Sinclair with 
him that very evening, when he should witness how en- 
tirely I had banished all animosity from my mind. 

He did so. Sinclair was indeed greatly improved. I 
have seldom seen a man more eminently handsome, or one 
more calculated to ingratiate himself with his own sex, or 
to recommend himself to the favour of the women. His 
manners were polite and prepossessing — his carriage was 
graceful, and his conversation modest and agreeable. I 
am recording my impression at the time. 

We spent a merry evening. The bottle, that " trotting 
whipster/' circulated nimbly ; Burridge became limber and 
frolicksome ; Sinclair narrative and facetious, babbling of 
college pleasantries, unborrowed of the town • whilst I did 
my best to establish an opinion of my own consequence, 
and to make it appear that my merit entitled me to, at 
least, as large a share of it as I had acquired. 

Thenceforth, Sinclair and myself were to be seen to- 
gether at all places of public resort. The splendour of his 
appearance, with which my restricted means in no degree 
permitted me to vie, reflected itself upon me ; and the 
world was pleased to declare that, in the selection of my 
friends, I not only evinced an excellent taste, but also a 
politic foresight. I laughed in my sleeve at this; for the 
world was not accustomed to the sight of Merchant, whose 
society I vastly preferred, and with whom I consorted, 
when the world, for the most part, was asleep. 

Of all my friends, Langley was the one to whom Sinclair 
chiefly attached himself. I do not wonder at it ; nor that 
Langley should have met his advances half way. There 
was a great similarity between the two gentlemen. They 
were both rich, or with the prospect of being so ; and both 
indulged a strong persuasion that wealth, of itself, con- 
ferred a claim to respect, which set off by birth was not, 
for an instant, to be questioned. Abilities — genius — 
these, in their opinion, entitled the possessor of them to 
no station equal with their own. He belonged to the rank 
r 4 



248 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



in which he was born ; he might, indeed, be received into 
a higher — upon sufferance. Merit did not earn the po- 
sition ; it was the reward of merit. 

That this was the joint creed of Langley and Sinclair 
was sufficiently obvious, although it was not intruded in a 
manner offensive to me. It was more especially apparent 
in their reception of Merchant, which was of so exceed- 
ingly civil a description as implied the condescension of 
very great men to a very little one ; but it was most ob- 
servable when Gregory was present, who did not know 
how to treat a companion otherwise than as an equal, ex- 
cept when, as in Merchant's case, the extent of his informa- 
tion, his knowledge of life and of human nature, his abilities, 
and, above all, his misfortunes, commanded his deference, 
and secured his respect. 

cc I do not know how it is," said Gregory to me one 
day, " but I cannot altogether reconcile myself to our old 
schoolfellow. Burridge may talk of his pippin of August, 
but, hang him, I think it has a tang of the May sourness 
about it yet. What is your opinion of him ? " 

" That he is as young as you," I replied, " and has not 
that class of follies which find favour w r ith yourself. To 
me he is very friendly and pleasant, and would be so to 
you, only that you oppose yourself too palpably to his pre- 
vailing foible/' 

" And why not ? " cried Gregory ; " confound his 
'scutcheon and money-bag ! Why is precedence to be 
granted to them on all occasions ? What say you ? " 
turning to Merchant. 

ce I say," returned Merchant, " as to his 'scutcheon, I 
know nothing of it, nor of my own ; nor do I wish to 
know. I saw several heralds at the coronation, and a 
whimsical class of animals they appeared. They tell you, 
don't they, that your grandfather's grandfather had a 
grandfather, whose father's name was Roger, or Hugh ? — 
it is commonly Hugh. Well, Hugh being a troublesome 
fellow, w T ho can give no account of himself, they kill him 
at the battle of Hastings. He came in with the Conqueror, 
and had six feet of land allotted to him. But as to the 
money-bag — if that is a grievance, it is one that will 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



249 



lessen day by day. To tell you the truth, my finger has 
been in it, and I never speak ill of my friends. I allow 
myself no pleasures now-a-days. I cannot afford to be of 
the fashion. I hope, Gregory, you are not jealous of this 
handsome schoolfellow ? " 

Ci Not I," he replied, laughing, but colouring, too ; " if 
a straight leg and a handsome face were always to carry 
the day, what would become " 

" Of us," interrupted Merchant ; " true. I have hopes 
that my pernicious phiz may one day be of value to me. I 
attend all the China sales I hear of, and have seen earthen- 
ware monsters, not half so ugly as myself, excite the admir- 
ation of the ladies — and fetch high prices too." 

Gregory had no cause of jealousy; but had he known 
his intended father-in-law so well as myself, he might 
have felt that he had just grounds of suspicion and alarm. 
Sinclair was a very frequent visiter at Myte's house, and a 
very welcome one. The little man, to employ a common 
phrase, did not know how to make too much of him, 
except when Gregory appeared, and then he did not know 
how to make enough of himself. 

Myte was a singular mixture, or rather, alternation of 
simplicity and finesse. He could not forbear imparting to 
me his secret longings. Drawing me aside one morning, 
he said, " My son Langley tells me that Sinclair — what 
shall I call him ? that must be thought of — he tells me 
he is as rich as Croesus or Crassus — either will do, and 
that he comes of an ancient stock. I wish I had known 
him earlier." 

" Why ? " said I, shortly. 

tf< Why ?— because there's my Vandal; and he's a 
string to her bow I should like to try first. If he snapped, 
we could pull out mad Tom. I don't think Tom's very 
deep in — do you ? " 

" I am surprised to hear you talk thus," I replied, 
" after the encouragement you have given to Mr. Gregory's 
addresses." 

C( Encouragement ! Ricardo, I have stood by with my 
finger in my mouth, saying nothing. A mouse in a min- 



250 



RICHARD SAVAGE, 



ster never preached a better sermon of silence than I have 
done. So far all is well." 

"But the young lady — your daughter/' I urged — 
iC pray, think, sir, of her happiness/' 

" That is what I am thinking about," he returned ; 
" the little ball on my shoulders has nothing else to do in 
this world but think about it. Sinclair — Gregory — into 
the scale with 'em. Sinclair outweighs Gregory ; see, he 
kicks the beam. The higher the rank, the greater the 
happiness. " 

" I am glad experience has, long ago, refuted that/' I 
replied. " But you may as well, sir, relinquish at once all 
hopes of IVJr. Sinclair. Your daughter loves Mr. Gregory." 

" Loves Mr. Gregory!" exclaimed Myte, with a chuckle — 
ec not so well as she loves rank and riches, I warrant ; or 
my wise preachings, from her infancy upwards, have been 
utterly thrown away. Have you not seen, Ricardo, at the 
play-house, an old, squared-toed fellow, with a flying 
periwig, and a cursed choleric, red-ochred face, rush in 
upon a scene of lovers, and interpose his veto upon the 
projected nuptials ? I think I shall undertake the part 
of that old fellow/' 

<£ And be baffled at last, as the old fellow commonly is," 
said I, laughing. " No, no — you will let things take 
their course. Besides, you have no reason to believe that 
Sinclair prefers your daughter ? " 

" None — I have none/' he answered, shaking his head. 
" I might frighten away the linnet, and not catch the gold- 
finch after all. Fool's fowling, that/' 

From this day forward, if Myte put any schemes into 
operation, of securing Sinclair for a son-in-law, they were 
not openly practised. It is true, for some time 1 ob- 
served that Sinclair paid very particular attentions to the 
young lady, provoking enough to Gregory, although they 
were not of such a nature, or so constant, as to justify him 
in making them the subject of a quarrel ; but after some 
months these were entirely laid aside. I concluded that 
the absence of encouragement, on the part of Mistress 
Martha, had caused Sinclair to forego his design of sup- 
planting his friend. Let me be just to him. I do not 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 251 

know that he harboured any such design. So it was, that 
his attentions ceased. Afterwards, I ventured a shrewd 
guess as to the cause. 



CHAPTER VII. 

IN WHICH RICHARD SAVAGE IS DISCOVERED TO BE IN LOVE J AND 
EXHIBITS TENDENCIES TOWARDS A PASSION VERY FREQUENTLY 

GRAFTED UPON IT. WITH AN UNTOWARD OCCURRENCE, WHICH HAS 

NO SMALL INFLUENCE ON HIS FUTURE FORTUNE AND HAPPINESS. 

I received a message one day from Sir Richard Steele, 
desiring to see me on the following morning. Any requi- 
sition from that quarter was certain of obedience from me. 
I waited upon him at the appointed time. He hastened 
into the hall when I was announced. 

" I am particularly engaged at this moment/' said he, 
taking me by the arm ; e( a relentless rogue has, by mis- 
take, been shown into me, and wants certain monies. I 
am reasoning him out of the extravagance of his demands, 
and have brought his phiz up some yard or two during 
these last ten minutes. A quarter of an hour, and 111 
make him laugh and leave. Stop ! go in there — no, come 
along/' 

So saying, he hurried into a back room. 

(C My love," he cried, to a young lady, who had arisen 
from her chair, "pray do your best to entertain this gen- 
tleman, my friend, Mr. Savage, till I return to you, which 
shall be in a few minutes. Savage — Miss Elizabeth Wil- 
fred. Oh ! these wanters of money/' thrusting his hand 
under his periwig, " how is it they always have large 
families, and large sums to make up, when a man hasn't 
enough money in the house to buy the youngest a coral, 
or little Jacky his week's gingerbread?" and he left us 
together. 

Miss Wilfred resumed her seat; I took mine. An 



252 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



awkward silence. To Miss Wilfred, the sudden intro- 
duction evidently had been as unexpected as to me. For 
my own part, I was so much surprised (as much, I con- 
fess, by the singular beauty of the young lady, as by the 
abruptness of the case) that I lost for a moment, my 
self-possession, which rarely deserted me. And it was im- 
possible, I imagine, that a dolt, however insensible, could 
have beheld, for the first time, that lovely girl without 
emotion. 

Helpless dog that I am ! how can I describe Elizabeth 
Wilfred ? And yet I feel that words could better portray 
her face than the pencil; for who ever painted soul ? — 
Raphael ? hardly. (Kneller, thy women had no souls — 
the better for thee !) But Spenser and Fletcher ! they 
might assist my sorry inefficiency — those greatest painters 
of the beauty of women, who have less of earth than of 
heaven about them. Thus much only w T ill I say, having 
cudgelled my brains wofully. Her complexion, her mouth, 
and her eyes were, perhaps, the most charming. Her 
complexion was dark, but with a warmth upon it ; her 
mouth was more beautiful when she smiled, and most 
lovely when she was pensive ; and her eyes were soft, and 
serenely sensuous, that (not to speak it irreverently) one 
could have thought — I have done so — that they might 
have raised themselves, unblamed, even towards the face 
of the Almighty. Forgive me the blush that this, when 
thou readest it, will call into thy cheeks — thou, to whom 
admiration was as flattery is to the few who are most like 
thee — thou, whose memory is ever near me, and sustains 
me — thou — a knell in my heart too truly tells me so — 
who art lost to me for ever ! 

We presently fell into conversation ; if that may be 
termed conversation which is, rather, an interchange of 
common and trivial remarks, to which custom exacts an 
acquiescence on either side. After a time, however, Miss 
Wilfred said, with a smile, — 

" Mr. Savage, you are little aware, I am sure of it, that 
I have had the pleasure of seeing you before." 

" Pardon me, madam, but really I think you must be 
mistaken. I am certain/' I added, " that I have never, 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



253 



till this morning, had the happiness of seeing Miss Wilfred, 
whom, believe me, I could not readily forget." 

" And yet it seems that I have been forgotten," she re- 
plied, laughing. In a moment, however, her countenance 
changed, and she became exceedingly grave. 

" I fear I have been very wrong," she said ; " pray 
pardon me." 

<c For what, dear madam ?" I replied. " It is as im- 
possible that I shall not pardon any thing you may say, as 
it would be to believe that you could do any thing wrong." 

" You are very polite. But I fear I should give you 
pain, if I were to mention where I have seen you." 

Ishmael Short with the oaf Carnaby rushed into my 
brain; but no — that was too distant a period. I was 
partially re- assured by the expression of her face. 

" I entreat you, madam " (I stammered somewhat), 
" to satisfy my curiosity. Still, I cannot but suspect you 
must be mistaken." 

6C I have, then, seen you at the house of Mrs. Brett." 

" My mother ! is it possible ? " 

(i Do not you remember," she rejoined, u a little girl 

who ran into the room when you were " she paused, 

" kneeling to your mother ? " 

" Good heavens ! and are you that — — " 

"Little girl? I am." 

I forbore all inquiry touching my mother ; indeed, I 
did not speak for some time. And who was this lovely 
girl? I had seen her and remembered her, but I had 
never before proposed that question to myself. There was 
no issue of my mother's marriage with Colonel Brett — 
that I knew. Could she be a niece of the colonel ? A 
long pause ensued, while I was revolving these matters 
within myself. At length, for lack of a better subject, I 
hit upon old Lucas, after whom I made inquiry. 

u The good old man is very well," she answered. " I 
was not aware that you knew him." 

" Oh, yes, I have seen him at the house of a friend 
with whom I lived, some three years since." A second 
silence of still longer duration. Heaven forgive me! — and 
my mother! — 1 began to suspect, and, looking into that 



254 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



sweet face, to fear that I had a sister. A more helpless 
moon-calf than I must have appeared at that first interview 
I can scarcely imagine. 

" I must positively run away/' said Miss Wilfred, at 
last, and she arose, " Mrs. Brett expects me home before 
this. My father, I fear, will not be able to release him- 
self from his company so soon as he hoped to have done." 

I took heart at the mention of the word " father." 
c( Your father, madam ? " 

She blushed deeply. u Sir Richard Steele is my father." 

The guileful old knight ! How he had kept this secret 
from me so long and so well, was a marvel to me. I had 
hitherto regarded him, and, in truth, for the most part he 
was, as the very example of openness. I had not much 
time, however, to dwell upon this single and signal excep- 
tion to his general practice, and upon his motives for it, 
before he entered the room. 

" My love," he said, <c I have been detained beyond ex- 
pectation, and almost beyond endurance. But when money 
is to be talked upon, manners must sit mum in a corner, 
and ceremony be put by for a court day. You have no 
time to bestow upon me this morning, I know. Permit 
Mr. Savage to have the honour of handing you to your 
chair." 

I trembled, as T received her fingers into my hand, and 
looked, I believe, supremely foolish; not the less so, 
assuredly, that Sir Richard regarded me with a comical 
eye of sportive malice. A moment more, and she had 
tripped through the hall, and was gone. The maidenly 
dignity, that is not the word — the graciousness of her 
bow at parting, abided with me till I saw her again, which 
was an age — not then to be displaced, but renewed. And 
whither was she gone ? to a house which I had long cursed 
as an abomination, but which I now began to reverence as 
a temple. Thenceforth, I thought of her every day in the 
hour, as Juliet prettily says, and like a coxcomb hugged 
myself into a belief of the possibility of her meditations 
sometimes lighting upon me. 

In dolorous mood I returned to Sir Richard — a sense 
of vacancy in my heart which every man in love feels in 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



255 



the absence of his mistress ; which all men who have been 
in love will remember ; and which no callous old rogue, 
who despises the passion, and wots not of it, can be brought 
to understand. Let him, then, cold and comfortless, go 
down to his dry grave in ignorance. 

" I hope you will allow," said Sir Richard, when I en- 
tered the room, " that when I keep a gentleman waiting, I 
provide beforehand that he shall not feel the tedium of my 
absence." 

Ci It is not your custom to keep your friends waiting, Sir 
Richard." 

e( But when I do, you will add, as a man of gallantry, 
in praise of the lady, and as a man of truth, in dispraise 
of me, that I seldom furnish them with such good com- 
pany." 

" I must needs confess that," said I. 

" Then I need hardly inquire what is your opinion of 
Miss Wilfred." 

" The most charming young lady in England." 

" In England ! what ! this petty patch of soil ! In 
Europe say, rather ; grant her one quarter of the world, I 
beseech you.'* 

" With all my heart. You may judge my surprise 
when I learned from Miss Wilfred that you are her father ; 
and the name of the lady with whom she is living." 

" Your surprise was natural," he returned ; " but I had 
a motive for my secrecy, which you may, perhaps, learn 
before time's beard is grown much longer. Meantime, be 
it known to you that a better girl than my Elizabeth never 
came of virtuous parents. Your mother has a heart, Mr. 
Savage, for she loves her." 

u And so does my mother's son," thought I, 66 or is in a 
fair way of doing so." Sir Richard said no more at pre- 
sent ; but left me to my own conjectures, which were of 
the most pleasing description ; and which his subsequent 
proceedings changed into delightful certainty. 

From this day, I had frequent opportunities of seeing 
and conversing with Miss Wilfred ; during which I became 
as deeply enamoured of the beauty of her mind, as of her 
person, which ; indeed, was the visible counterpart of her 



256 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



mind — all sweetness, harmony, grace, dignity, and inno- 
cence. 

I was about to say, that if any one of my readers having 
read my history through shall, flinging the book from him, 
be tempted to pronounce me a worthless scoundrel, I would 
bid him consider whether that man can be utterly worthless 
who could love and reverence as I have done, and as, from 
my soul I do — such a woman as Elizabeth Wilfred. I 
was going, therefore, to indulge myself in a flourish of 
loathsome cant ; for the love of virtue is as universal as the 
practice of it is particular ; and we want nothing to make 
the worst of us equal with the best, but the will. They 
are not blind who shut their eyes. 

A tacit understanding had subsisted between us that 
Mrs. Brett should, upon no occasion, form the subject of 
our talk. Nevertheless, she began now to occupy as much 
of my mind as she had done formerly. In proportion to 
the hope that I had succeeded in making a favourable 
impression upon this lovely girl, was the fear lest some in- 
fernal machination of my mother's contriving should be 
put into effect to blast the happiness of a life she had en- 
deavoured to destroy. The question, after all, was this, 
which of the two was the more powerful, her affection for 
Elizabeth or her hatred of me. Grant them equal — an 
extravagant supposition — yet I knew that her leaning 
was towards evil ; and that to execute vengeance, even in 
natures not essentially bad, is more captivating than to offer 
redress. She might, indeed, study the happiness of her 
ward ; but she meditated my ruin, or if not that, she ab- 
horred me so sincerely that she would never, could she 
help it, commit that happiness to my keeping ; perhaps, 
to do her justice, because she would not feel that it was 
in the right hands ; but, certainly, lest I also should be 
happy. 

One evening, warmed with wine, and elevated by a sud- 
den and unexpected accession of money, Steele said to me 
with his gayest air, — 

" Savage, you dog, have you ever thought of marriage, 
as an ordination to which you may one day be pleased to 
submit yourself ? " 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



257 



e{ It has presented itself to my mind, certainly/' I 
replied. 

C( And made its bow, and taken its leave again/' he re- 
joined ; (C that's what you would say ? " 

ec Not exactly. I have ever considered, since I have 
been of an age to make it worth my while to retain what 
I think, that the truest happiness is to be found in that 
state." 

"It may be so, Dicky — it may be so, my smug moralist. 
But many of the married fellows do not appear to be a 
whit happier than your wifeless men. They keep their 
happiness to themselves, I take it — like a boy who comes 
suddenly upon a plum cake ; he devours it in secret — 
wipes his mouth — puts his eyes back again, and hopes it 
may not disagree with him — shockingly heavy at the 
chest notwithstanding. A great deal depends upon the 
choice a man makes. Have you ever seen the young lady 
you could prefer before all others ? " 

I hesitated a moment ; but averse from reserve or du- 
plicity. I resolved to deal frankly with my friend. Besides, 
there was rapture in the thought that his question pointed » 
to his daughter. 

cc Is not that question perfectly unnecessary ? " I in- 
quired. H You must surely have observed long ago, Sir 
Richard, that I do prefer a certain young lady before all 
the world." 

" Perhaps I have," he replied. " Still I want to know 
from you who the young lady is ? " 
" Miss Elizabeth Wilfred." 

Sir Richard raised himself in his chair and arranged his 
periwig. u Your servant, Mr. Savage ; I thought as 
much. I'll swear you've been dropping soft syllables into 
the girl's ear." 

" Indeed, my dear Sir Richard, I have not. My re- 
spect for you " 

£C Is very great, no doubt," he interrupted ; " but it 
would hardly hinder you from telling a pretty woman you 
loved her, would it? If so, I must do something flagi- 
tious to give her a chance of a husband. You are anxious, 
probably, for an opportunity of confessing your passion ? " 
s 



258 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



cc If I might presume to hope/' I replied, " which I 
have never yet done " 

" There you are mistaken. If hope is to begin, you 
have not yet begun to be in love. Hope follows love as 
closely as a led-captain a young heir. But now, in few 
words, you love the girl ; but you do not know whether 
she has any tenderness of regard for you. If we discover 
that she has, the parson may prick up his ears and the 
fiddlers screw up their catgut. She is yours, with a thou- 
sand pounds I mean to bestow upon her ; but which will 
not, of course, enhance her value to you/' 

" By heaven ! it will not/' I exclaimed in an ecstasy, 
seizing his hand with a degree of familiarity which 
the occasion excused. " Elizabeth Wilfred without a 
penny " 

(( Would not be worth twopence to the majority of man- 
kind. I have been long hammering upon this project, 
which will soon, let us hope, be effected." 

" Will you permit me to ask," I inquired, iC whether 
Mrs. Brett is aware of your generous intentions in my 
favour ? " 

" She is not ; but I have not overlooked her. There, 
Savage, I hope to be of service to you. We have Brett 
with us ; but Elizabeth shall be the peace-maker between 
you/' 

" Oh, sir ! I fear my mother is implacable. I know too 
well her relentless nature. She hates me." 

iC Poor woman ! she hates you — yes, but we must make 
her less wicked, and more wise. Don't you know that hate 
is love turned inside out ? " 

" Yes/' said I, " because the article is threadbare. The 
other doesn't look so well, to be sure — but it lasts." 

He laughed heartily. " Well, let us, then, call them 
next-door neighbours." 

"Always quarrelling, with a high back wall between 
them," and I laughed in my turn. <c I despair of her 
humanity," I added seriously. "No matter, I am her 
debtor for one thing — she has lent me her pride." 

" But not her other passions, 1 hope," he observed 
gravely. i( Do you not feel that by wronging you she has 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



259 



conceded your superiority ? If you cannot forgive her, 
you should not complain of her. You would gladly accom- 
modate your differences ? Speak from your heart, and let 
me hear what it replies." 

" Upon my soul ! I would/' I answered. " To be com- 
pelled to harbour resentment against any human being is 
abhorrent from me. To feel it — and in spite of myself to 
feel it — against my own mother, is the one misery of my 
life — heightened, as it is, tenfold, by a persuasion of the 
misery it will hereafter entail upon her." 

e( If my girl loves you," said Sir Richard, u or you can 
bring her to love you, it shall go hard but we will get your 
mother into following her example. I will sound Elizabeth 
upon the point, the carrying of which you have perhaps 
most at heart. But we will proceed very gingerly at pre- 
sent ; for, look you, I not only mean to make your mother 
love you, but to show her love in the old-fashioned mater- 
nal manner, by sundry bank-bills convertible at pleasure 
into the precious metals. Until we know what you're to 
have, how can we decide what you're to be ? I am going 
down to Hampton for two or three weeks. Before I 
return, I shall have digested all my plans. Meanwhile, 
make yourself perfectly easy." 

That I could not very readily do this, the sentimental 
reader will believe. What 1 was to be, as to position, or 
what to have of money, was a matter of no present import. 
My whole soul was so entirely absorbed by Elizabeth, that 
I disdained to entertain, even for a moment, those vulgar 
considerations which occupy the major portion of mankind. 
Money, rank, influence, what were these in comparison 
with the new passion that had taken possession of my 
heart? For the knowledge that she returned it, I would 
gladly have renounced all claim to either, henceforth and 
for ever. But this I could not know for three long weeks ; 
nor could my vanity, busy as it was in recalling every 
thing that had passed between us since I had first been ad- 
mitted to her presence, suggest any encouragement to me 
that hope had not, from the beginning, created. Such 
women as Elizabeth Wilfred — I wish for the sake of 
human nature and the world's happiness I could believe 
s 2 



260 



RK1HARD SAVAGE. 



there are many such — perplex the speculations of the 
lover more hopelessly than the prude, who unfurls her 
great fan if the swain ventures upon a preparatory " hem ! " 
— or than the coquette, who listens to two at a time, while 
she is looking at a third. The unvarying sweetness of 
mien, the indiscriminate, undistinguishing affability of the 
dear girl, confounded my perception while it heightened my 
love. Why, I have heard her address a footman in a 
tone that has made me envy the lucky rascal, who got 
thanks for his service that I would willingly have worn 
his livery to perform. 

Some few days before Steele's return to town, I was 
presented with an occasion of disquiet from a quarter 
whence I had no previous reason to expect it. I was 
sitting at a tavern one evening, with Langley and Sinclair, 
when the latter said, with a casual air — 

6< Do you know that our friend here has lately made me 
acquainted with Mrs. Brett ? You can bear to hear your 
mother spoken well of, Savage ; which, considering all that 
I have heard — and it is public enough — is a stretch of 
generosity for which you cannot be sufficiently commended. 
She is really a highly agreeable woman. It puzzles a man 
like me to understand her character. So much seeming 
good with so much positive evil " 

(C And both kept so apart," said Langley ; <c there is 
the difficulty. We are all mixed characters, but this lady 
is an exception. But, Sinclair, you are very little of a 
philosopher. If you were one at all," he added archly, 
you would, ere this, have detected the fascination which 
draws you to the house of Mrs. Brett, although you might 
not have been willing or able to resist it." 

e: What do you mean ? " said Sinclair, slightly confused. 

" That Mrs. Brett is a very agreeable woman," replied 
Langley ; <e but that you have seen one still more agree- 
able, for whose sake you are disposed to think so favourably 
of Mrs. Brett ; and this in spite of your friendship for 
Savage, whose wrongs in that direction might detract from 
her agreeableness with you." 

" You allude to Miss Wilfred ? " cried Sinclair ; " the 
reputed natural daughter of your patron, Sir Richard/ 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



261 



turning to me. " Have you seen her ? I suppose not. 
She is very well — a finely-proportioned, handsome girl, it 
cannot be denied, and amiable as beauty, and the consci- 
ousness of it, can make her, I believe. But beyond a little 
allowable flirtation, it is not my design to venture, I assure 
you." 

" Something like this says the boy who takes off his 
shoes and stockings and ventures into the river, over head 
and ears, before he can call out to Tom on the stile. But 
whatever your design may be — shall I say upon Miss 
Wilfred ? — I am greatly mistaken if she has not construed 
your attentions very differently. I protest, her eyes tell 
tales that, when I was a young fellow like you, I should 
have been happy to read/' 

I started, and turned very pale, or very red, I know not 
which — nor whether my emotion was remarked. It was 
well for me that the bottle stood by me. 

" Do you think so ? " said Sinclair, twitching at his 
cravat. " I cannot flatter myself that I have particularly 
observed it. But, plague on't, where did the girl get her 
high notions ? From your lady-mother, I suppose, Savage ? 
To think — which it seems she must — that we could ever 
become John and Joan ! My fortune and expectations; 
not to speak of " 

iC Your person and figure," suggested Langley, with a 
wink at me. 

" Well, they are not despicable, I take it," resumed 
Sinclair ; " all things considered, such a notion is at least 
preposterous. The vanity of these young women ! because 
a young fellow says a few civil things to 'em, they must 
needs fancy he's dying for 'em. Ha ! ha ! " Here he 
flourished a pinch of snuff under his nose. " Poor, dear, 
dairy -maid innocence ! They little know us sprightly 
sparks, who never swallow the matrimonial dose " 

" Till it has come too late to do you any good," said 
Langley, " and then you curse the doctor for a quack." 

" We do so — and so he is," cried Sinclair. " Here's 
Savage looking all the while like a doctor who has swallowed 
a prescription he made up for his wife." 

I left my company somewhat abruptly. The whiffling 
s 3 



262 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



coxcomb ! the superficial fopling ! " To think we could 
ever become John and Joan I " Vulgar animal! As 
though he could ever be included in a thought of hers ! It 
was profanation to dream of it. As though his person, and 
figure, and fortune, might ever help him to such an angel ! 
But it suddenly occurred to me that in these three quali- 
fications he was my superior. I could not but confess that 
here, at least, I was no match for him. I could not but 
remember, at the same time, that in these lies the chief 
attraction of men to women's eyes. And, after all, Eliza- 
beth Wilfred, although an angel, was a woman also, and a 
very delightful one ; the conviction of which, at the mo- 
ment, aggravated my jealousy ; for it seems to be an 
especial ordination of Providence that the delightful women 
shall fall to the lot of those who have no sense of their 
value ; which is the more explicable, seeing that these are 
precisely the women who set the least value upon them- 
selves. 

Chiefly, Langley's surmise troubled me. Had he then 
discovered any indications of love in Miss Wilfred towards 
Sinclair ? whom I now began to hate horribly. Could it 
be ? I know not how it was, but handsome as the man 
undoubtedly was, he appeared to me the very last person 
in the world that such a woman as Elizabeth might be sup- 
posed to prefer. When my tumults subsided, I could not 
but admit that there was no other woman in the world but 
might have bestowed upon him her preference. Shall I 
confess — (to such abjectness is a lover betrayed ; the re- 
collection of it even now twinges me) — that his pre- 
sumed indifference was a consolation to me ? 

The instant Sir Richard arrived in town, I made it my 
business to wait upon him. His project did not appear to 
have cooled with him — a too common case, as I well knew, 
with Sir Richard's projects — but he counselled caution, 
moderation, and patience, three elements which he seldom 
brought to bear upon his own affairs. I took the liberty of 
remonstrating with him, urging that there could be no 
reason on earth why I should not at least be permitted the 
opportunity of ingratiating myself in the esteem of his 
daughter; on the contrary, I suggested as nicely and gin- 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



263 



gerly (to use his own words) as I could, that nothing could 
be more proper than that I should be allowed such oppor- 
tunity. He said in reply, that my mother had, in some 
sense, a right to a voice in the matter, having, from her in- 
fancy, taken upon herself the duties of a mother to his child, 
which she had fulfilled to admiration. " Be easy/' said he, 
ec you do not know her. Leave Brett and me to manage 
her." 

A month elapsed, during which I was, with his other 
creditors, an assiduous frequenter of Sir Richard's levee. 
He must have been one of the best natured men breathing, 
to have borne with me so well ; for I was at least as 
troublesome to him, 1 suspect, as his other more legitimate 
plagues. A question he put to me one day, in an off-hand 
manner, was not calculated to lessen my pertinacious at- 
tendance upon him. 

" Who is this Mr. Sinclair," he inquired, " whom I have 
seen so frequently with you, and who has lately been intro- 
duced to me ? One of the many pretty fellows, I take it, 
who infest the town, the insides of whose heads are furnished 
now-a-days very much on the same principle as the out- 
sides. Our ancestors wore their own hair — their descend- 
ants wear periwigs. Now, it seems to me your friend has 
no more brains under his periwig than will assist him with 
the women, who, like children, love those playthings best 
that make the most noise." 

" He is what he appears," I observed, " a young gentle- 
man of birth and fortune." Steele had said sufficient to 
alarm my suspicions. After a pause, I added, " You have 
met him, I presume, at Mrs. Brett's ? " 

" I have ; and, to say the truth, cannot, for my part, 
discover his merit, of which I am told so much. I am one 
of those who never could be made to believe, for the life of 
me, that wealth 's a good substitute for virtue ; nor could I 
confide the happiness of a woman to the keeping of one 
whose money was his sole or his chief recommendation." 

cc It is impossible to misunderstand you," I said in great 
agitatiou ; ' c you mean that my mother desires and designs 
to sacrifice Miss Wilfred to Sinclair ?" 

s 4 



264 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



" How do you know it would be a sacrifice ? " cried 
Steele, smiling at my perturbation. 

I thought he was trifling with me. " For God's sake, 
Sir Richard Steele, tell me at once. Would it be a sacri- 
fice ? or has my mother kindly undertaken to expound the 
wishes of the young lady herself ? If so, all claim to the 
happiness you intended for me I resign/' 

" Resign yourself at present," cried Sir Richard, " to 
tranquillity. You have nothing to fear, I promise you. 
On the contrary, if the girl's word is to be taken, everything 
to hope. Patience. The garrison will at last capitulate. 
We have sat down before it." 

cc And by remembering the siege of Troy, I may make 
myself easy under a ten years' delay/' said I : " but can it 
be possible that Miss Wilfred has honoured me so far as to 
express " 

" Miss Wilfred has said nothing — did I tell you she 
had ? " replied Sir Richard. " I judge from her looks when 
I speak of you, and from her words when I do not." 

But a trial awaited me which I had not foreseen, and 
which came upon me while I was yet indulging dreams of 
felicity and thoughts of vengeance. Calling upon Steele 
one morning, I found him pacing the room in some dis- 
order. I saw, at a glance, that he had been expecting me, 
and surmised (for there is something impossible to be mis- 
taken in a man's face upon these occasions) that I was the 
cause of his anger. I had never before seen him angry, 
and had often doubted whether he could be really so. 
There was as little of the venom as of the wisdom of the 
serpent in Steele. He was yoked with a lamb ; a spark, 
and he was cold again. I had seen him so to others ; but 
now, it seemed, he had unyoked the lamb, and 

carried anger as the flint bears fire, " 

Which being enforc'd, emits a hasty spark ; 

and has as many more sparks within it, and as much heat, 
as though it had not been enforced at all. 

" Sit down, Mr. Savage. I have been wishing to see you, 
that I may tell you, from this day I wish to see you no 
more." 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



265 



I had taken a seat, but instantly arose upon hearing this 
unlooked-for declaration. " My dear Sir Richard ! surely, 
you cannot be serious ; wherein have I offended you ? " 

" You have been holding me up to ridicule — nay, do 
not deny it — I am too well satisfied of the truth of the ac- 
cusation I now bring against you. I was a fool," he added, 
"ever to have countenanced or trusted you. I might have 
seen — I have seen that you are no respecter of persons — 
that the vivacity of your imagination, the petulant sallies 
of your wit are exercised without much or any regard to the 
object they light upon. That a benefactor should escape — 
this was too much to expect." 

" You are silent, Mr. Savage," he said at length, " and 
you have long maintained silence. I am glad of it. I re- 
joice that you, at least, retain a sense of shame. This will, 
I hope, be a lesson to you for the time to come. Not a 
word now. Leave me." 

" A few words, and but a few," said I, approaching him. 
" Sir Richard Steele, if any man has inferred from speech 
of mine that I have not the utmost esteem and veneration 
for you, he is mistaken and a fool ; if any man has told you 
that I have injured or calumniated you, he is a knave and 
a liar. On my soul — my hand upon my heart — a heart 
that must love you, whether you will or no — a hand that 
would second it to its last throb, did you require it — the 
man, whoever he be, is a lying scoundrel. Speak his name. 
My hand will not be slower than his tongue to chastise its 
base owner." 

"You use hard names, and talk big words, young man," 
cried Sir Richard ; " I did not speak of injury or calumny. 
I am not a man to be safely injured ; and, thank Heaven ! " — 
this he said with a confirmed air, that upon another occa- 
sion would have caused me to smile — "thank Heaven ! my 
character places me beyond the reach of calumny. I spoke 
of ridicule — a more offensive, because it is a safer, bolt to the 
shooter." 

I did not well know how to bear this word " safer" with 
the imputation it conveyed. My passions were at no pe- 
riod of my life easily governable, or to be restrained by a 
consideration of the rank or pretensions of an adversary. 



266 



BICHARD SAVAGE. 



Accordingly I walked up to him, and said, with an air, I 
fear, too insolent, " It fits to hear the writer of The Tat- 
ler and The Spectator complain of ridicule — he whose wit 
never spared his best friends, and never lost him one. Let 
the world know, Sir Richard, that you claim an exemption 
from satire directed against yourself, and a swing of license 
in your own person to visit it upon anybody you please. 
And tell the friends you have not lost, that you deserved to 
lose them ; and if they ask why, refer them to me." 

No answer, but such as a very red face supplied, the 
import of which I mistook. The generosity of Steele, so 
nobly conspicuous upon most occasions, was not present to 
him now, or he had confessed the justice of my recrimina- 
tion, shaken hands, and said no more. But no ; he burst 
forth into a torrent of invective. 

w It is your ingratitude — your base ingratitude, Savage, 
that I detest. I who have studied your interest — ad- 
vanced your reputation — furnished you with money — de- 
signed your promotion " 

" Go on, Sir Richard, " said I with a sneer ; "let me 
know every item of the bill. It is a sad satisfaction to the 
butcher to number the legs of mutton he has supplied to the 
poor devil in distress, for which he will never be paid. But 
let me tell you, sir, there is something so terrible in a charge 
of ingratitude that I must not, and will not, bear it from you. 
It is at least as likely that you have expected too much, as 
that I have tendered too little. I despise — I scorn — from 
my soul, I scorn — the charge/' 

" You have a high spirit, I find, Mr. Savage/' he ex- 
claimed contemptuously ; " a very high spirit." 

" And why not — and why not ? " I retorted quickly. 
c< Wherefore shall not Richard Savage have a high spirit as 
well as Richard Steele ? I have a proud spirit, too, sir, 
which his can hardly be, who can throw in a man's face 
the obligations he lies under — lies under, indeed — prostra- 
tion infinite ! You might have recalled your friendship — 
you have squeezed and crushed it out of me. Ungrateful ! 
you have made me feel, and not nobly — pardon me — how 
great a virtue gratitude may be made.'' 

" Begone!" he exclaimed, in vehement rage ; kt leave 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



u67 



my house. Those words have lost you my friendship for 
ever." 

" I thought I had lost it when I came in, and was sorry ; 
I go out, knowing that I have lost it, and am indifferent. 
One word before I go. I paid no court to you — it was 
you who sought me. I thought you meant that I should 
be your friend, and that I had made one. I was mistaken. 
You imagined you were cheapening a dog, to bark at your 
bidding, and to fawn and cringe at your call. You were 
mistaken. Both equally so." 

<c You have said enough for me, and more than sufficient 
for yourself," he replied. " Remember ! all is at an end 
between us. My daughter — there you must, of course, 
feel " 

Not a thought had I bestowed upon Elizabeth during 
the foregoing scene. I am very glad of it. His injurious 
treatment of me deserved no such subdued or tame recep- 
tion as my tenderness for her might have made me we*ak 
enough to give to it. But with the thought of her was 
coupled another, the memory of whom had no tendency to 
soften or to assuage. My eyes kindled as I threw a glance 
over my shoulder. " Of course, sir, I feel," said I, {C that 
you would reclaim your daughter, and that all is at an end 
between us. You need not have told me that. I saw from 
the first" (a little allowable falsehood there) " the poor 
pretext to shake me off." 

" What now ! what now !" he exclaimed fiercely, 
starting from his chair, and advancing towards me. 

e What poor pretext — insolent vil . I shall say 

something I would not, but under strong provocation, say. 
Begone." 

1 met him half-way, and thrust my face towards him. 
ct My mother is at the bottom of this. Shame upon you, 
Sir Richard Steele ! Well may you fear ridicule, who lend 
yourself to such wretchedness. I thought you had found 
the way to repay yourself the value of the obligations I owe 
to you. I thank you. It is a great relief to me." 

" By G , Mr. Savage, this is too much. I will not 

endure it. To suppose that I would lend myself to any 
baseness ! Upon my soul, sir ! — but no matter. Your mo- 



268 RICHARD SAVAGE. 

ther is no party to this. I have heard of your practices 
from many " 

ie Who are practised upon, doubtless," I interrupted. " I 
doubt not your word — I suspect your penetration. You 
are played upon without knowing it. But I am gone." 

My heart moved towards him as I turned away. He 
likewise, I think, was moved. 

" You will trouble me no more, Mr. Savage ? " 

" No more, and yet — one moment. Sir Richard Steele, 
I am a young and an impetuous man. I can scarce bear 
deserved reproof — undeserved reproach I cannot — will 
not bear. I have spoken to you, you will tell the world, 
with insolence ; if I have, I am sorry for it ; but I will not 
recall it, for you also have said too much. You reminded 
me of your kindnesses. It is fit I should acknowledge thern. 
I will, if you please, recapitulate them with nauseous [ex- 
actness. No ? " — for having shaken his raised hands, he 
pressed them against his ears — " then I make you my 
best bow — to you, who have been long weary of doing me 
services, to me, who am already weary of the mention of 
them — my best bow, because it is my last. God bless 
you, sir." 

I turned upon my heel with an air of levity, how foreign 
to my real feelings they alone can judge, who have parted 
in anger from a friend, with a conviction that that parting 
is to be for ever — a conviction that pride has raised, and 
will maintain, though the heart bleed for it — as mine has 
done, and is prepared to do again. Pride to the last, which 
is to the soul of a man what his bones are to his body. — 
As without these, a man were a mere mass of grovelling 
flesh, so without that his soul is as water, without a vessel 
to contain, or a channel to direct it — extensive, perhaps, 
but superficial : brittle ice in adversity ; in prosperity, 
feeble vapour. 

It was some hours before I recovered my composure, 
or the appearance of it. Lost in a maze of conjecture, I 
vainly endeavoured to recollect any one occasion upon which 
I had spoken of my patron, which, fairly stated, could have 
supplied him with just ground of offence. I knew very 
well that men are as little disposed to bear the ridicule of 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



269 



themselves, as to forbear the ridicule of others ; and I was 
aware that Sir Richard, who enjoyed a jest at the expense 
of another, by no means relished one at his own ; a failing 
common to us all, and of which he partook fin no larger 
degree than the generality of mankind. There must have 
been, therefore, some secret enemy at work, and him I re- 
solved, if possible, to discover ; with no view, however, of 
re-establishing my friendship with Steele, whose conduct 
towards me had, as I conceived, been such as no reparation, 
short of an apology I felt he could hardly make, would ob- 
literate — but for my own satisfaction. My suspicions 
tended towards Sinclair, yet I had no reason to suspect him 
— no reason which an indifferent person would call by that 
name. But hate has eyes, and ears, and understanding, 
and wisdom — senses, faculties, functions of its own. It 
disdains the operation of reason — it arrives at its con- 
clusion without it, and most frequently to a just conclusion. 
Let a traveller in the dark reason of the way he should go, 
ten to one he goes wrong ; the dog follows its nose, and in 
due time is yelping for admittance at the door. And hate 
is the dog of human passions — a hell-hound, if you will ; 
but of rare sagacity. 

I had been wandering about, I knew not whither, when 
at length I found myself at Knightsbridge. I know not 
what feeling it was that induced me to seek out the public- 
house to which Steele had taken me a year before, and in 
which perhaps he had, upon more occasions than one, 
sought refuge. I turned into it ; and in the very room we 
had occupied, took a sulky dinner. A bottle of wine was 
poured out to the memory of our friendship ; and in it I 
steeped an earnest prayer for the health and happiness of 
the worthy knight who had flung me from him — in utter 
ignorance (1 believe I thought so) of the value of the gem 
he had cast away. This is the natural reaction. Perhaps 
a man never prizes himself so highly, or rather, is so dis- 
posed to set a high price upon himself, as when he has been 
depreciated by others. 

In the evening I betook myself to my accustomed tavern, 
hoping that I should find Sinclair there. I was not dis- 
appointed, Langley and he were engaged in talk at the 



270 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



other end of the room. The former beckoned me to join 
them, which I did. 

" Was ever mortal man so full of woe ! " cried Langley, 
as I took my seat ; ee why, Savage, I never saw^ you look 
so melancholy, since I have had the privilege of peering 
into men's countenances, and conning their expression/' 

" And when was that privilege granted to you ? " I said, 
listlessly. 

ei When the gentleman in the black gown handed me 
over the certificate of my marriage/' he returned. " Come, 
let us know what ails you that wine will not touch." 

I kept my eye immoveably fixed upon Sinclair, while I 
related what had taken place between Sir Richard Steele and 
myself. He underwent my scrutiny to admiration, not for 
a moment losing his self-possession. 

" And what officious blockhead — I should more properly 
ask, what malicious knave — has been filling Sir Richard's 
ear with stories to your prejudice? " demanded Langley. 

" That is what I am determined to find out." 

Again I had Sinclair under my eye. 

ee Your question, Langley, pre-supposes your ignorance of 
the rascal. Can you help me to his name, Mr. Sinclair ? " 

" Indeed I cannot," replied he, coolly. " I have never 
heard you speak ill of Sir Richard, nor have I heard any 
man say that you have done so. Further, I have never 
heard anybody say a word against you." 

" And yet you are intimate with Mrs. Brett/' I re- 
marked. 

" She never mentions your name ; a very discreet woman, 
Mrs. Brett." 

" And you know Sir Richard Steele ? " 

The inference I intended was sufficiently palpable. His 
brow darkened, but was clear again in an instant. 

" I have met him at Mrs. Brett's, and at Will's, with 
my friend the Colonel. But what is all this about ? " 

" What, indeed ? " cried Langley. — " Hang the scound- 
rel ! whoever he be. When you catch him, crop his ears 
— make them at least shorter than his tongue. This will 
blow over. Steele will not forgive himself till he has ob- 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



271 



tained your forgiveness. See ; you have made Sinclair as 
dull as a droll at a nonplus." 
Sinclair forced a laugh. 

" I wish I could see Mr. Savage in better spirits/' said 
he with a yawn. 

" We must rally him, my boy ! " exclaimed Langley, 
slapping the other on the shoulder ; iC and have we not 
abundant material to work upon ? Megrim is a malady 
incident to lovers ; and when a man thinks himself in 
danger of losing his mistress, take all he has, and welcome. 
6 I'm for the rope,' quoth he." 

Sinclair brightened at this speech, and cast an encourag- 
ing leer at Langley. 

My surprise gave place to my curiosity. What could 
Langley mean ? Had he then heard of Steele's intentions ? 
Had Gregory, the only man to whom I had confided my 
secret, betrayed his trust ? 

" I do not know what you are aiming at," I observed 
with seeming composure. " Our friend Gregory, the only 
lover of my acquaintance, has no reason, I believe, to wish 
his head in a hempen noose." 

" Sly dog ! " cried Langley. " I've heard of the boy who 
could not read from any book but his own ; you, it seems, 
can only read from other people's. And do you think that 
we have never heard of Sir Richard Steele's Miss Wilfred, 
and of a certain engagement — eh ? " 

I was confounded first, and incensed second, and both 
in a minute. But I concealed my displeasure, although 
with some difficulty. 

" And Mr. Gregory has told you this ? " I demanded. 

u As good as owned it, when he found that we knew full 
as much as himself. But Mrs. Brett told me, with a smile 
peculiar to her (I think, after all, she loves you, or will 
love you), and I could not be easy till I took my nose to 
somebody's else's ear ; and somebody else whispered it to 
a third, and so the whole town has it. Sinclair has dropped 
his chin, and ponders sackcloth and a city wife." 

" Not I," cried Sinclair with sudden animation ; " so 
fair a prize is not so easily yielded ! " There was a malignity 
in his face while he said this, which he was unable to dis- 



272 



HICHARD SAVAGE. 



guise — from me. " But/' he added, " I fear she is be- 
yond the reach of either of us. Surely, Savage, you never 
imagined that Sir Richard was in earnest in his propo- 
sition ? " 

<e And why should I not so imagine ? " said I with a 
very civil smile. " Surely, you are not in earnest when 
you ask the question ? 99 

" Indeed I am ; but Lord ! what is it to me ? I hope 
you may not afflict yourself too deeply, that's all. I saw 
Langley's little fellow cry after the moon the other night ; 
but they soon pacified him." 

" But I am a great fellow, not a little one/' I replied, 
my choler villanously rising, (C and am content that the 
moon shall remain where she is. Perhaps," I added jeer- 
ingly, " perhaps, you conceive yourself to be the En- 
dymion who is to lure this Diana from her orb." 

" Ha, ha ! very good — perhaps I do conceive myself 
to be so, and perhaps I may yet prove myself to be so. 
Very good, that — was it not, Langley ? Endymion ! 
Diana ! charming, I protest. Mythology and sentiment. 
No — no — my good friend ; " and he shook his head. 

" Hush ! " cried Langley, who foresaw a storm. 
" Enough." 

" My good friend," proceeded Sinclair, " Steele was 
laughing at you. I swear, he'll have you down in print. 
No man better loves a jest." 

" Do you know, Mr. Sinclair," with a coldly confiden- 
tial air, said I, ce that I never permit any man to break a 
jest at my expense — not even Sir Richard Steele ? " 

" Well, and what of that ? " 

<c And that if you are in the jesting vein, you had best 
seek some other, whose temper or forbearance is greater 
than my own." 

" Quarrelsome, Mr. Savage ? — very well, sir. One 
word, and we drop the subjeet. I was not jesting. I 
merely drew my own conclusion." 

I tapped him on the shoulder. " A word with you, 
sir." He followed me. 

" You draw your own conclusion, you say. Can you 
draw your sword ? Can you fight ? " 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



273 



He was surprised, but not daunted by my vehemence. 
i( I can — when I see occasion." 

u I attend you then/' said I, " or you me." 

Langley thrust himself between us. cc What childish- 
ness is this/' he exclaimed. iC Savage, you are mistaken, 
and wrong ; indeed you are : and, Sinclair, we are 
equally so. We have carried the jest too far, Dick, you 
are too hasty — on my soul, you are." 

" I believe, indeed, we went too far," said Sinclair 
frankly, coming towards me. " What the deuce ! It were 
too much to expect to inherit one's father's fortune and 
wisdom too. Young fellows will be still young. I meant 
no offence. Savage, when I offer you my hand, I assure 
myself you will put no wrong construction upon my doing 
so. Friends, as before." 

Tt had been uncouth and brutal to have declined a hand 
so offered ; and yet never did a man dabble with another's 
fingers so ungracefully. We resumed our seats, and spent 
the evening together. Their spirits were high, and I 
forced mine into a seeming sympathy with them. 

As I walked home, reflecting upon my brief quarrel 
with Sinclair, although I put no construction of coward- 
ice upon the prompt offer of his hand, I could not help a 
doubt of his sincerity. An open rupture had been an ob- 
struction of the game he was playing — or designed to 
play. I was confirmed in my suspicion by his after-bear- 
ing towards me, which was exceedingly cold and ceremo- 
nious. I believe, had our hearts bartered the sentiments we 
severally entertained of each other, we had got very nearly 
the same articles in exchange. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

IN WHICH SAVAGE, DURING AN INTERESTING INTERVIEW, OBTAINS 
A HALF-CONFESSION, WHICH ENABLES HIM TO BEAR UP AGAINST 
HIS MISFORTUNES. WITH OTHER MATTERS. 

Thank God for every thing ! but most earnestly do I 
render thanks to Him for this, that having been pleased to 

T 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



visit me with many afflictions, he has endued me with 
strength of mind to bear them. In my worst trials, I 
never bated a jot of heart or hope, or sought by that which 
some people call patience, others resignation, and I weak- 
ness, to spare my own shoulder when the wheel was to be 
got out of the slough. To bear afflictions is not to endure 
but to carry them ; and no longer than is necessary, and 
no further than is needful. But to regret, or to lament 
the past — to wring the hands — to beat the bosom — oh ! 
this is passing insanity. This is to hate a thing, and to 
add to it — to conjure the black devil and to give him a suit 
of sables ; or, worst folly of all, to muffle the sun lest 
yesterday's cloud return to-morrow. Away, then, with Sir 
Richard Steele ! I had lost his friendship by no fault of 
my own ; let me say, rather, he had capriciously recalled it. 
Surely, his friendship could be of little value, who so easily 
lent, and so lightly reclaimed it. No — I could not think 
that ; but, as was usual with me, and is with the world at 
large, on like occasions, I easily satisfied myself that I was 
altogether right, and that my patron was entirely wrong. 

One circumstance, which I learned the next morning, 
assured me of this, while it banished the resentment from 
my breast, which otherwise I might have indulged — a 
brief anger in any case it must have been that 1 could 
have borne in my bosom against a man whom I so much 
loved, and whom, I think, no human being could hate. 
Mr. Addison was then lying dead. Steele must have known 
this calamity at our interview on the yesterday. The death 
of this great man — for great he was (let him who doubts 
it ask Mr. Pope, but for whom none had doubted) — I could 
well believe, came like a stroke of thunder upon his friend, 
who reverenced him almost to idolatry. Sir Richard was 
not himself when he taxed me with ingratitude. He would 
in time, and in a short time, too, do me and himself 
justice. 

After due consideration, I could by no means bring my- 
self to the belief that Steele had been set against me by 
my mother. On the contrary, when I came to take a 
calm review of his whole conduct to me, undoubtedly in- 
cited, as it had been, by his knowlege of that woman's 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 275 

unnatural hatred towards me, I could not but feel, that 
any endeavours on her part to insinuate a dislike of me 
into his mind, must have operated in a directly reverse 
manner to that she would have intended. Neither, on the 
whole, could I justly suspect Sinclair, of whom Steele 
professed, and therefore held, no elevated opinion, and 
whose word, accordingly, would have weighed but little 
to my prejudice. The favour of so considerable a man as 
Sir Richard Steele got me, I doubt not, many enemies 
whom I had never injured, nay, perhaps, whom I had 
never seen, and one or more of these had poisoned his 
ear. It were useless, an attempt to detect them. I de- 
sisted in the attempt, more properly to speak, I declined it. 

Steele, then, must have his will. Our acquaintance was 
at an end. But in one point, to me the most vital of all, 
my own will must be consulted and followed ; which was, 
that Elizabeth Wilfred should fulfil her original destiny, 
and be consigned to no other arms than my own. 

I made it my business to lie in wait for Lucas, whom I 
had not seen for some years, and who was now become a 
very old man. After several days' strict and unwearied 
watch, I lighted upon the ancient steward, and making 
myself known, led him away to an adjoining tavern. 

" Eh ! what ! what ! " said he, after I had with some 
difficulty explained myself — for Lucas was somewhat 
deaf. " Want me to give this letter to Miss Elizabeth ? 
What's in the wind now — in the wind now ? 

My letter, I assured him, merely contained a request 
that Miss Wilfred would honour me with an interview of 
a few minutes. 

■ c And where is that to be ? " cried Lucas, repeating 
the question two or three times ; i( she goes nowhere 
without an eye upon her, you know whose eye ; it sees — 
it sees. As for meeting her in our house — unless I drag 
you in at the top window, as the tailor did — ha ! I re- 
member that — I've a brisk memory, I warrant. Poor 
old Ludlow ! — dead — under a flat stone — never to be 
looked upon again. I saw him put down — I did , " and 
he looked upon me dimly, through the rheum in his eyes. 

iC If Miss Wilfred should consent to see me," said I, 
t 2 



276 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



C( surely, my old friend, we can evade Mrs. Brett's vigilance 
for a few minutes. You will manage that for me, I know. 
Meantime, you will deliver that letter ? " 
He turned it over several times. 

ec What do you want to see her for ? " he inquired at 
length, winking his old eye, and taking off a glass of burnt 
claret. " Ho ; ho ! you mustn't steal away my lamb. 
What would my lady say to that — eh ? Have you ever 
seen Miss Elizabeth since she's grown up into a tall woman ? 
How she used to talk about the poor young gentleman, 
and how cruel it was of Mrs. Brett to treat you so. Speak 
loud — I can't catch your words else. I'm like the old 
woman of Reading, who made herself deaf by the sound 
of her own voice — chattered her own hearing away, the 
old fool; but people said it was wisely done. Charity 
begins at home, said they. Where have you seen her, T 
say ? " 

" At the house of her father, Sir Richard Steele," I 
replied. 

" Jump, quoth the kitten," cried the old man. <: I won't 
be your go-between — I won't — I won't," — swallowing 
another glass, which I handed to him. " You've fallen 
in love with her — you have. As though I didn't know 
a black crow by its colour ; I can see many more things 
than you guess. Why, I'm in love with her myself, p and 
she's a sneaking kindness for me ; if she hasn't, I'm not 
old and ugly. Oh, the devil ! that's his case." 

He brought me a reply on the following morning. The 
dear girl could not conceive what I could have to commu- 
nicate to her. She had heard of my quarrel with her 
father, and deplored it ; would willingly, if she knew how, 
assist a reconciliation between us ; was fearful I could 
not be admitted to my mother's house ; and finally, con- 
sented to grant me five minutes, if Mr. Lucas thought it 
could be contrived with safety to me and to himself. 

" And now, Lucas," said I, " I must rely upon yon. 
Miss Wilfred consents to see me. You can refuse her 
nothing, I am sure of that." 

" What say ? what say ? " cried he, " refuse her ! 
Abraham Lucas can't do that, so I must be wicked enough 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



277 



to let you come into your mother's house. I hope it 
won't fall down upon our heads ; especially/' he added, 
with a chuckle, " as she'll be from home at the time. 
How came you to fall in love with my sweet one ? Couldn't 
help it, I suppose — was to be — was to be. You won't 
run away with her, I hope, and leave my old gills to be 
cuffed, will you ? " 

I fear old Lucas must have stood his chance, could I 
have hoped to carry so charming a design into effect. As 
it was, I assured him he had nothing to fear from my in- 
discretion ; and after some conversation, during which it 
was arranged that I was to be admitted on the following 
afternoon, he went his way, bearing a short letter contain- 
ing my fervent and grateful thanks. 

It had been delightful to me to listen to the old man's 
prattle concerning Elizabeth ; and as he took his leave, 
methought, never, sure, were lovers furnished with so in- 
teresting a mediator. His occupation endeared hirn to me, 
not less that he who followed it had been the friend of 
Ludlow. There is sweetness, but more of sorrow, in the 
memory of that time ! It restores the likeness of the de- 
parted — but the life, where is it ? 

At the appointed minute I was at the door, and was 
cautiously admitted by Lucas himself, who had been on 
the watch at one of the narrow windows at its side. 

" Follow me to the back room," said he ; " you mustn't 
stay long. My lady may be upon us before we're aware. 
Miss Elizabeth," he added, throwing open the door, et here 
is the young gentleman. Mind," in a whisper to me, as 
he retired, " no kissing, or I shall be sure to hear it. I've 
got my Sunday ears on to-day." 

I entered, and approached Miss Wilfred with great 
respect. She extended her hand frankly, but in a slight 
confusion. Her hand trembled as she withdrew it, which 
was on the instant, and gently. I wished I had detained it. 

" Madam," said I, when we were seated, and after 
some hesitation, <f the kind note you were so generous as 
to return, in reply to mine, informs me of your knowledge 
of the unhappy misunderstanding between Sir Richard 
Steele and myself." 

t 3 



278 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



u I was extremely sorry to hear my father say he had 
reason to be offended with you," she replied ; cc but I can- 
not believe that his anger will be of long continuance. He 
did not speak of its cause/' 

" Calumnies, madam, with which his ear has been 
abused by certain enemies of mine, of whom I have many." 

(e I hope you are mistaken there, as I am sure my 
father is in his judgment of you. So young a gentleman, 
surely, can have made but few enemies." 

<c Pardon me, Miss Wilfred," said I, smiling ; " foes are 
like fools, one is the cause of many. I believe you know 
that I have one enemy in the world." 

She sighed, and cast her eyes on the ground. 

ee Of her it is not proper that I should speak," I re- 
sumed ; " the best I can hope from her is her indifference. 
But in your father I have lost a friend, and indeed, 
madam, were I as rich in friends as I am poor, I could 
not afford so heavy a loss." 

16 I am greatly concerned," she answered, and she looked 

so; " and if I knew how I could with propriety " 

she hesitated. 

" I will not tax your goodness, dear Miss Wilfred," 
said I, and / hesitated. I was about coming to a point 
upon which I had made up my mind to be satisfied, but 
which, now the moment was come, I dreaded to touch 
upon. But it must be, nevertheless. So fair an opportunity 
I could hardly expect to be accorded to me again. 

" If I deplore, as upon my honour I do," I resumed, 
"the error Sir Richard Steele lies under, and which has 
induced him to alter his opinion of me, because 1 lose 
thereby the advantage of his counsel and his conversation, 
you may conceive, madam, how much more I lament that 
error, when I tell you, that it has not only caused him to 
withdraw the friend, but to assume the enemy. Your 
father, madam " — I trembled a little here, and looked calf- 
like, I dare say — " your father, madam, designed me to be 
the happiest man breathing, and now has it in contemplation 
to render me the most miserable." I raised my eyes re- 
spectfully to her face. 

How beautifully silly she appeared at that moment ! 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



279 



" I do not understand " — faltering — " what you mean, 
Mr. Savage/' 

"Did, then, Miss Wilfred never hear of a" — confound 
me if I could lay my tongue upon the right word — "of 
a certain gracious intention, on his part, to make me 
more supremely hlest than " — no — I could not utter 
play-jargon to her — i( to make me happy, dear madam — 
most happy." 

Her blushes told me that my meaning was understood. 

" My father is a very strange man, Mr. Savage, and " 

" And a very good and generous one," said I quickly ; 
" nor is his daughter less good and generous. Oh, madam ! 
if I could hope " 

" I must obey my father in all things," she replied, with 
some demureness. 

" And would Miss Wilfred have obeyed her father, had 
he commanded her to make good his intention, for she 
alone could have fulfilled it ? Forgive me ; I fear I am 
too presumptuous." 

There was something at fault with the bosom of her 
gown. She replied, bashfully, after a short pause — 

cc I must not answer your question. My duty to my 
father forbids it. I am fearful I have acted very indiscreetly 
in consenting to see you without his knowledge, as it must 
be without his approbation, should he learn that I have done 
so. I will, however, repeat, that I am grieved that Sir 
Richard should have conceived a false opinion of you, and 
that I am sure it is a false one. Oh ! Mr. Savage ! en- 
deavour to regain his esteem, and to secure it. Your 
merit entitles you to the friendship of so excellent a man 
as my father." 

She feared she had said too much, and paused, averting 
her face in confusion. It was this, and not her words 
which, however, conveyed some hope, that filled me with 
transport. 

"A time will come, madam," I said, "when Sir 
Richard Steele may not consider me as one altogether un- 
worthy of his friendship, and when he may derive some 
pleasure from the reflection that he once lent me his coun- 
tenance. It is time that I should begin to justify the 
t 4 



280 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



opinion he has] been pleased to entertain of my abilities, 
My vanity, perhaps, induces me to believe that I may 
succeed in doing so ; your good wishes towards that end 
will enable me to bear up against the difficulties which I 
foresee will beset me." 

ce Indeed you have them, then/' she replied with ani- 
mation. ee I am sure," she added, looking down, ee I ought 
to feel an interest in the happiness of Mr. Savage." 

" I can forgive Mrs. Brett her cruelty, since it is the 
occasion of your goodness towards me," I returned. Ci It 
will, indeed, sustain me if — one question, I beseech you. 
I know I am too bold, but — there is a gentleman who 
calls himself my friend. He may be so. He is also ac- 
quainted with my mother ; her friend, too, I believe. 
His name is Sinclair." 

She started, and flushed crimson ; but presently became 
very pale. 

" Mr. Sinclair is the friend of Mrs. Brett she paused, 
and then added, " he is no friend of mine. I have my 
troubles as well as yourself, sir. Indeed, I am very un- 
happy." 

At this moment Lucas burst into the room. I could 
have run the old booby through for his ill-timed interrup- 
tion. Miss Wilfred arose in great alarm. 

iC Here she comes — here she is — here she will be in a 
minute," cried Lucas. " I know the creak of her carriage- 
wheels a mile off. Miss Elizabeth, run upstairs. Savage, 
creep under that table." 

i( Pray, madam," said I, £C be not alarmed. Let me hand 
you to the door. Lucas, I am waiting to see the Colonel." 

" The coach has passed — passed the door. A false 
alarm. Hurrah !" and the old fellow threw up his leg. 
i( But oh ! I thought my lady would give me a shaking to- 
day, and so she has. Get you gone — get you gone. We'll 
contrive better another time." 

" But five minutes longer," said I, " and I am gone. 
Leave the room, Lucas ; " but he kept his place sturdily. 

" The old gentleman is frightened," said Elizabeth. 
"We must part now." She approached me, and placed 
her hand in mine with a captivating ingenuousness. " Mr, 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



281 



Savage/' she said, "it were affectation — and of affectation, 
I hope, I shall never be guilty — were I to pretend igno- 
rance of the purport of your question, or of your motive 
for wishing to see me. Rest assured that the welfare of 
Mr. Savage will cause no one greater pleasure than it will 
bring to Elizabeth Wilfred. And why should I not add, 
if it will be a satisfaction to you to hear it from me, that 
Mr. Sinclair can never be more to me than he is at this 
moment. I will never be the wife of Mr. Sinclair." 

1 raised her hand to my lips in a rapture, and bestowed 
I know not how many kisses upon it, much to the seeming 
displeasure of Mr. Lucas, who made several grotesque signs 
to me, which I could by no means understand. 

She curtsied lowly to me as I retired, with a look of re- 
gard — I can call it no more — which shone in my heart 
for many a weary day afterwards. 

I tore myself away, and betook myself to Myte's, not to 
impart the cause of my happiness, but to make it apparent 
that my recent reverse of fortune, which had doubtless been 
communicated by Langley, had in no wise depressed my 
spirits, or disturbed my equanimity. Here, if any thing 
could have added to my perfect felicity, it would have been 
the sight of my friend Gregory, evidently established in the 
good graces of the whole family. 

During the evening, Myte drew me aside, and confirmed 
the assurance to which I had come. " Why, Ricardo," 
said he, u you have been all yourself to-night — gay as a 
gad-fly, which, considering what my son, Langley, has told 
me, is passing strange. I hope you are not acting a part — 
all palace without, all prison within. As for me, I've sawed 
off my high heels, and brought myself down to the ordinary 
level of human kind. Let no man walk with his chin too 
much raised in the air, lest he nose humiliation ; so saith 
Daniel Myte, who is sometimes a very Daniel/' 

C( And what recent occurrence has begotten this apho- 
rism ? " said I, laughing ; " or is it a crutch in time, lest 
you should fall ?" 

(i A crutch," he replied, ee with which I mean to walk to 
the end of my days. I've abandoned all thought of Lothario 
— for that's the name I have given to Sinclair, so named 



282 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



after Nic Rowe's rantipole rascal. I've done with him. 
He's a sour grape. Why, Wildgoose tells me he has fallen 
in love with Sir Richard's daughter — the ward of Semi- 
ram is — a tall maypole thing, not to he compared with my 
little bundle of myrrh yonder." 

I could have pulled the small fellow's ear for that, and 
whispered a secret into it afterwards. " A very elegant 
young lady, I have heard/' I said. 

" So be it," he returned. " Vandal devolves to Mad 
Tom. My word is passed. They are one, when old Greg 
and I have laid our heads together over the desk some three 
or four more times. He eats my beef and mutton, and drinks 
my wine here weekly, and says he already loves Vandal as 
his own child — the only lie I have as yet taken him in. 
Tom expects to get a higher post at the receipt of custom, 
and when old Greg dies will have money enough to bury 
him, and a little over to support his own life." 

" You have come at last, then, to a proper sense of my 
friend's worth," said I. " Miss Martha, I'll swear, will 
never have cause to regret the preference she has bestowed 
upon Mr. Gregory." 

cc I was going to say a narrow thing, but I won't," said 
Myte ; " I should have hurt your very fine feelings. You've 
less faith in the worth of money than I have. Let me tell 
you, Ricardo, virtue without money is an old hag — a very 
good old hag in her way possibly ; but she's pelted for a 
witch ; and vice that has it is a wicked baggage, perhaps, 
but she sits in the high places, and is bowed to." 

" She is — by the base and vile," I replied gravely, for 
this was a sore subject with me. 

" Then cleave 1o the old hag," said he, " who wants 
her ? Decency beats her out of the field by mere dint of 
dress ; and if she does take a dram sometimes, nobody 
sees her. If you tarry till men bow to Virtue for her own 
sake, you'll wait till Time has left off work, and begins to 
bind his scythe with a hayband." 

Gregory and I went away together. As we walked, I 
made him acquainted with all that had passed at my in- 
terview with Elizabeth. The circumstances of his own 
condition caused him to sympathise with my feelings more 



RICHARD SAVAGE, 



283 



warmly" than otherwise he could have done, and to announce 
confidently a successful termination to my suit, now, as he 
conceived, fairly begun. 

ce But," said he, have you no fear of Sinclair ? Langley 
tells me he is a vast favourite of your mother, and that he 
is taking great pains to ingratiate himself with Sir Richard 
Steele. He is clearly enamoured of Miss Wilfred, and we 
all know what love can do. Love that could transform the 
brutish Cymon into a hero, may metamorphose Sinclair 
into a sober gentleman. What, should he make proposals 
of marriage ? " 

cc He will be rejected," said I, " as I told you." 

u Come," he returned, " let us look upon the matter 
fairly. He is a man of family and fortune — handsome, 
accomplished. His character is tolerable. He would 
have your mother's influence in his favour ; and you can- 
not suppose that Steele would be insensible to the advan- 
tages of the match." 

s( All this, notwithstanding," I replied, " if he has said 
in his heart I will have none other than Elizabeth Wilfred, 
he writes bachelor to the end of his days. I tell you, 
Gregory, she is mine." 

** You will be offended, Savage, if I hint to you, that 
it will be as well you should be upon your guard." 

" I take your warning in very good part. Langley has 
infected you with his doctrine. Handsome fellows with 
large fortunes can't always carry the day. There is 
something so palpable in these advantages, that creatures 
of soul turn from them." 

" Hang him ! " said he, " I don't like him ; yet one 
cannot but see how attractive he is to the women. I 
began to be jealous of him, I confess, and thought, at one 
time, Myte less disinterested than I have found him. 
Didn't you observe a particularity in his attention to 
Martha some months since ? It ceased after he had seen 
Miss Wilfred." 

" After he has heard Miss Wilfred, any particularity of 
attention he may bestow upon her will also cease. Enough 
of him. Have you seen Merchant lately ? " 

" Yes, with Sinclair. He is his constant companion. 



284 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



Pity that a man like Merchant should be degraded to the 
condition of a dependent, or rather, should voluntarily 
debase himself by consenting to be one." 

ec You surprise me/' said I. " Sinclair has been kind 
to him, we know ; but surely, you do not mean that he is, 
therefore, a dependent ? M 

Ci I mean that he has become a whetstone for the whittle 
of Sinclair's humour — his butt. He took me apart the 
other evening, and said, with a blush — there is hope of 
him, therefore — c You think this sorry work, Gregory ; 
and so it is ; but, behold ! ' chinking a purse, 6 when 
the barber pays, blunt razors may be borne. Which ap- 
pears to you the more conspicuous in these dreary bouts, 
my complaisance or Sinclair's dulness ? ' c They are 
about equal,' I answered. ( There is no attrition, my 
child/ he replied ; while I continue impassive, he will 
never improve. Meanwhile, his gold passes currently. 
He is a tree more beautiful in the fruit than in the foliage/ 
Here we see, Savage, the predominance of wealth." 

c< It will always be so, while mankind consent to ac- 
knowledge it. I wonder you should expect that Merchant 
should be more virtuous than his neighbours. He pro- 
fesses to live upon the world, and a goose is a god-send to 
him. Let him alone. He fulfils his fate. It is as essen- 
tial a part of wisdom to know what to avoid, as to learn 
what to seek. He is a warning, not a pattern. Besides, 
how moral he is making us. Is not that a merit in him ? " 

Gregory was, as I have before said, a very worthy fel- 
low ; but he had never known want, and knew not how 
hard a task-mistress is necessity. Let smug prosperity be 
dumb when misfortune comes to judgment. Oh ! beau- 
tiful indeed is virtue ! But how beautiful let him avouch 
— to quote my own words — 

Who amid woe, untempted by relief, 

Has stoop'd reluctant to low arts of shame, 

Which then, even then, he scorn d and blush'd to name. 

Within a month I was once more in a situation to re- 
volve all the arguments that might be urged in favour of 
Merchant, and to feel less tolerant of such high-flown 
morality as sometimes preceded from the mouth of Gre- 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



285 



gory. The cessation of Sir Richard's liberal allowance to 
me left me no alternative but to get my living by the 
labour of my hands, or to starve. In this emergency I 
renewed the acquaintance of Mr. Wilks. This constant 
friend deplored my misfortunes without alarming my self- 
esteem, and relieved my distresses without wounding my 
pride. He gave me small hope of any immediate resto- 
ration to the friendship of Steele ; who, it seemed, spoke 
of me with a degree of acrimony which at once surprised 
and grieved him. Meanwhile, he urged me strongly to 
turn my thoughts once more to the stage. The slender 
success my earlier efforts had met with, he was pleased to 
attribute rather to a want of knowledge of scenic effects, 
than to a deficiency of dramatic power. To attain this 
indispensable preliminary knowledge, he thought it requi- 
site that I should make the acquaintance of the players, 
whose experience might greatly assist me — (for players 
talk little else but of plays) — and be constantly behind 
the scenes, that I might observe the resources of the stage, 
and perceive, unmoved, and at leisure, how they were 
brought to bear upon an audience. 

I availed myself of the hint, and in a short time — for 
my address was pleasing, and my manners were easy — I 
obtained the confidence of all the principal performers, and 
the good will, I believe, of everybody in the theatre. My 
days were chiefly spent in conversing with players, and 
my nights in witnessing their performances ; till at length, 
from seeing plays, I began to feel a wish to write them, 
and from the study of actors, became ambitious of being a 
player. 

My necessities gradually increased — necessities which 
the kindness of Wilks would have averted altogether, as it 
frequently mitigated them ; so frequently, indeed, that I 
was ashamed to avow my real state, and I was now sunk 
in deplorable distress. I studiously avoided all my former 
friends, for my appearance was not such as would have 
recommended my society to them ; and was compelled to 
live, from day to day, by chance, or upon expedients. I 
had youth, however, and spirit, and, best of all ! the love 
of Elizabeth Wilfred to sustain me. Why, then, have I 



286 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



called my distress deplorable ? Because, fool-like. I forgot 
myself, and must needs, for a moment, talk the world's 
language. When I had no mortal dinner, I dined am- 
brosially with her, and in dreams of her tender presence 
enjoyed Elysian repose on a bulk or in the shambles of the 
market. Call it cant, if you will — bravado — coxcombry 

— let those feelings be restored, and restore me those days 

— those nights — or worse — for worse have I endured, 
and worse than the last did no man ever endure — recall 
them, O Time ! if thou couldst, and with them renew 
this heart — making it a heaven, kissing heaven — a 
heaven because it did hope — and I am thine, once more 
to do thy harshest upon ! 

One day I was, as was my custom, lingering behind 
the scenes, when Brett came up and accosted me. I had 
not spoken to the Colonel for some time, and he had not 
chosen to disturb my reserve. Now, however, he ap- 
proached me familiarly, extending his hand. 

ce I fear, Mr Savage/' he said, " the world has not 
treated you too well of late." 

" I have no recent cause to complain of the world," I 
replied ; (C it never treated me too well. The world, 
Colonel," I added, with feigned gaiety, " is not so bad but 
it might be worse, nor so good but it might be better. It 
is a tolerable round world, after all. If a man can keep 
his footing while it revolves, it is pretty well ; if he is 
shaken off, not much worse. You see, I am a philosopher." 

" You look like one — pardon me, I do not mean to 
offend you, Can your philosophy help you to discover a 
better man out of Bedlam than Wilks? " 

" It cannot. But why out out of Bedlam ? 

a Because there are many there, child, who have had 
their good deeds flung at their heads, and the same knocked 
out their brains. Harkee — a word with you," and he 
took my arm, and walked with me on to the stage. 

" Wilks," said he, ee has been urgently pressing with 
your mother to do something for you. No man living — 
/am out of the question," and he shrugged his shoulders — 
" has so much influence with her as my friend Wilks. 
Steele is not sufficiently grave or earnest to succeed with 
her, and you have offended him. I am sorry for it." 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



287 



(C I have ceased to be so/' I returned ; u but I am 
sorry that Mr. Wilks should have undertaken so ungrateful 
an office. I wish you to believe that he has not done so 
at my solicitation." 

" I can readily believe that," he replied, 'laughing ; 
then/ between his teeth, " Child of Anne Mason art thou, 

Savage ! " He paused for a moment, and continued 
hastily : " She has sent you fifty pounds, and designs to 
let you have two hundred more. She has promised two 
hundred more." 

u I will not accept a farthing/' said I, when my sur- 
prise had abated so far that I could speak. 

" Odso ! " he exclaimed, <( it is a strange fish that loves 
not water. I will take it back, and bid her buy a skreen 
with it, lest she should catch cold in heart, after opening 
it so freely. Come, come ; this is worse than folly. Take 
it from me, then, as coming from me." 

ee If I were sure it did come from you, Colonel, I would 
do so ; and now, I think, I may be certain of it. Impos- 
sible that my mother could design me a service ! " 

" Ah well ! as Frank Burridge used to say," he re- 
turned, " No more of it." 

Glad, I am almost ashamed to say, to strain my belief 
in favour of Brett, I accepted the money. " I am your 
debtor for it," said I. 

*< Pish — we are going for a time to Bath." 

" Miss Wilfred, too ? " I inquired in trembling haste. 

Brett placed his hands upon my shoulders, and looked 
into my face. There was an expression in his I had 
never seen before. " Poor fellow ! " said he, " the arrow 
has struck you, has it ? Draw it forth ; break it in two 
— away with it. She is very well, and unmarried, and 
she goes with us. Let me do you one service in my life ; 

1 will carry a message from you." 

" My respectful regards are all I would send, colonel." 

cc They shall not be lost by the way," he returned, press- 
ing my hands warmly ; (( should you hear of my death 
shortly, Richard, give me your good wishes to the other 
world, as I offer you mine in this." 

" Why, what is the matter ? " I inquired. 



288 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



" The liver. This comes of dear Addison's company^ 
gone before us, alas ! and Steele's, and the rest, who are to 
follow. The doctor tells me I am not immortal, and that 
I have lived as though I thought I was. I wish my tomb- 
stone could say a good word of me without lying; but who 
can live up to his epitaph ? Farewell ! " 

He went from me a few paces, and returned. " When 
I am gone, your mother may treat you more kindly. Do 
not spurn her kindness, for my sake and for your own. 
Grief softens the heart, and humbles it. Catch it, ere it 
fall, and press it to your own. The love of the human 
creature will gush forth, and all will be as it should be. 
A sermon from Colonel Brett !" he added, rallying, "Well; 
I have a gift more than I thought for." 

Colonel Brett, farewell ! 1 record your words. That 
they were but words — it is not my fault ! 



CHAPTER IX. 

ANOTHER INSTANCE OF BENEVOLENCE EXERTED IN FAVOUR OF OUR 
\UTHOR. HIS APPEARANCE ON THE STAGE, WITH A GLANCE AT 
/WO OR THREE OF HIS AUDIENCE. WITH A SURPRISING COMMUNI- 
CATION, WHICH PRECIPITATES HIM UPON A DANGEROUS ADVEN- 
TURE. 

It may be asked by the curious inquirer, whether, having 
suddenly become possessed of a sum of money amply suf- 
ficient to support me till I could carry my design into 
effect of writing a play, and bringing it upon the stage, I 
did not apply it to that purpose. To say the truth, I did 
not. Money that comes deviously into a man's pocket, 
goes crookedly out of it. I did not deal with a slack hand 
in its expenditure ; and within two months, save that I 
was more genteely clad, I found myself in as bad a plight 
as before. I cannot help the head-shaking objurgation that 
this acknowledgment will bring upon me ; let me, however, 
submit that I am entitled to some credit for making it so 
candidly. 

As though at once to justify my past extravagance and 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



289 



to inculcate it for the time to come, fortune at this crisis 
stept forward, and placed another prize in my hands. I 
had recommended myself to the esteem of Mrs. Oldfield, 
the celebrated actress — (the " poor Narcissa " of Mr. Pope) 
a lady of whom I can never speak without gratitude and 
affection. I was young and sprightly (for I never per- 
mitted external circumstances to depress me) and had a 
flow of talk at command that rendered me acceptable to 
women who. I have observed, however they may exercise 
their tongues amongst themselves — never arrogate more 
than their fair share of the conversation in the company of 
men of sense and spirit. If I lay claim to any colloquial 
merit, it will be on the ground of its ease and unaffected- 
ness. Abhorring the inveterate chatter of the pretty fellows 
of the cane and snuff-box, my conversation was simple, 
lively, genuine. There was no set turn of phrase, no 
idiom-shunning — no darling topic. If I be accused of 
vanity, I can only urge that I have been told this a hun- 
dred times. 

My conversation, then, perhaps my story, which was well 
known to her, attracted the regard of Mrs. Oldfield, and 
at length interested herself strongly in my welfare. 

""Mr. Savage," she said to me one day, " what a pity it 
is that a gentleman of your abilities should be wafted about 
the world without any settled place or purpose. Permit 
me to speak frankly to you, and do, I beg of you, be candid 
with me. Can I serve you ? " 

I dropt my eyelids, but answered nothing. AYhat I 
thought I shall not reveal. Are not all young men cox- 
combs ? 

f '' Fortune has been more kind to me than I fear I have 
deserved/' she continued ; "but I wish to ingratiate myself 
with Mrs. Oldfield. Will not fifty pounds a-year in some 
measure enable you to pur>ue your studies without molest- 
ation r You must try whether it will, or no. Nay," 
raising her finger, " no long speech, which I perceive you 
are meditating, or I shall run away and leave you. ^Yhy, 
bless the man, I vow he thinks this a very great matter. 
You do not know how selfish a woman I am, and that 
I am purchasing a luxury at your expense." 

u 



290 



"RICHARD SAVAGE. 



I had not meditated a long speech ; my heart, which was 
now running over at my eyes, was too full for that ; but I 
raised her hand, and pressed it to my lips. Hang me, if I 
could bring out a word of thanks — of gratitude. It was 
not needed. She understood rae ; pressing my hand ere I 
relinquished hers. 

" You will understand me, Mr. Savage/' she said, "when 
I hint, there is a reason why I must not see you at my 
own house, or at any other place than this. I desire your 
friendship " she added, with emphasis. " Not a word more 
of this as long as we live, I entreat you. Send to me to- 
morrow morning." 

She took her leave of me with a grace that I have never 
seen surpassed except by one, who may blush, perhaps, but 
will not be offended that I include her in the same para- 
graph with Mrs. Oldfield. The faults of my benefactress 
were such as the world cannot, or will not, readily pardon. 
Of these it would ill become me to speak. Beauty she had 
— (at nve-and-forty she was beautiful) — inimitable ele- 
gance, surpassing grace were hers — a joyousness of air — 
a harmony of carriage — a loveableness (to coin a word) 
of mien upon the stage almost irresistible. The young fel- 
lows adored her, and the old ones blinked, and thought of 
their sons' morals, and of their own. " It is nought, it is 
nought," they said, but the old fellows were mistaken. 
Her beneficence might have shamed some whose good deeds 
are loudly vaunted by themselves, or others. 

It was not until I had well nigh exhausted the first year's 
allowance made to me by this lady, and paid in advance, 
that I began seriously to consider my situation. My friends 
took to wondering, as well they might, that I made no ef- 
fort to fulfil expectations which I had not refrained from 
openly indulging, of my own capacity ; and some of them, 
more plain or less delicate than the rest, made no scruple 
of hinting, that to talk about doing great things is much 
easier than to perform them, and that if words were deeds 
I had done enough, and might thenceforward hold my peace. 

" After long choosing and beginning late,'* as Milton said 
concerning a very different work, I fixed upon the story of 
the unfortunate Sir Thomas Overbury, as one admirably 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



291 



adapted to a dramatic purpose. That I have not changed 
my opinion a second play, now completed, which I have by 
me, and which is one day to see the light, will testify. 

Unhappily for the due prosecution of this arduous task, 
(" happily, had it taught you wisdom," I think I hear some 
moral man remark) I was again overtaken by distress, be- 
fore I had effected much progress in it. Notwithstanding, 
slowly to be sure, but doggedly did I grovel on with it, 
forming my speeches in the open air, and committing them 
to paper casually obtained, with a pen borrowed for the 
nonce from some small shopkeeper, who with a smile, half 
pity, half contempt of a poor wit at his wits' ends for a din- 
ner, thanked God, I dare say, that nature had given him no 
more brains than he could carry in his head, without making 
the world as wise as himself. 

Cold about me — hunger within me, a beast that loves 
not the cold — the desolate streets before me; the journey- 
ing moon overhead, posting onward, heedless of her solitary 
minion — fair weather and foul, (the fair is foul to the 
houseless, and the famishing, and the foul — what that is 

— let the stark wretch, his face skyward, his soul within 
the skies — (at home at last!) — let him, dead though he 
be, and still, cry to the heart even of Mr. Overseer, telling 
him what that is) — I bore it all unflinchingly. Turn out, 
fat man of substance, and bob for wisdom and charity on 
the banks of Southwark. They are best taken at night, 
when God only sees you — when the east wind is abroad, 
making you shake like the sinner who was hanged for break- 
ing into your dwelling house. " The air bites shrewdly, it 
is very cold/' sayest thou ? It is so, But tell me whe- 
ther, on the fourth night, when thou liest stretched on thy 
blessed bed, thy heart is not warmer than it was wont to 
be — whether thou dost not pray prayers of long omission 

— whether thou wilt not, in the morning, bethink thee of 
the poor, and relieve them out of thy abundance ? Sayest 
thou, no ? God help thee ! 

My play was at length completed ; and, placed at tempo- 
rary ease by Wilks, to whom, in the hope of repaying some 
part, at least, of his kindness out of the profits of my tra- 
gedy, I made my wants partially known, I was enabled to 
u 2 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



revise and correct it, and to prepare it for the stage. I had 
written the part of Sir Thomas Overhury for Booth, beyond 
question the greatest actor of his day. The elder play- 
goers, indeed, denied his claim to be considered as a worthy 
successor to Betterton ; but Betterton had in his time suf- 
fered by a like retrospective comparison with Hart, and it 
was generally conceded that Booth was greatly superior to 
Verbruggen and Powel, the latter of whom, but for his un- 
happy infirmity, drunkenness, would have played Betterton, 
in his latter days, off the stage. That the abilities of Booth 
as an actor were of a very high class, no one who ever saw 
him can dispute. " The blind might have seen him in his 
voice, and the deaf have heard him in his face," was said 
of him, and finely said, by my friend Aaron Hill. Can a 
greater eulogium be passed upon an actor ? Not easily. 
And yet he deserved it. 

Wilks was eager to serve me ; but others were first to be 
served — not so many (I say it without vanity) by reason 
of their merit, as by virtue of their influence — influence 
which will beat merit out of the field any day, and every 
day, to the end of time. 

The season was now drawing to its close. One by one 
the principal actors betook themselves into the country, 
leaving the theatre to the less favoured performers to glean 
the harvest they had reaped. There seemed no help for 
it, but I must put on patience, and let my play stand over 
to another year. But Wilks, ever studious of my ad- 
vantage, recommended me to place my play in the hands 
of Gibber before he also left town, saying that, even now, 
something might be made of it to satisfy my moderate ex- 
pectations. (He was wrong ; my expectations were by no 
means moderate.) 

i( What do you say now ? " he exclaimed, gaily. " Hill 
has given you an excellent prologue and epilogue. Your 
play is much better than in fairness or reason could have 
been expected from so young a man, and the town is not 
very fastidious at Midsummer. You have often spoken of 
trying your fortune as an actor. Imp your wings in Sir 
Thomas, and let Cibber's boy, Theophilus, take Somerset. 
Mills — careful Mills, the safest actor on a dead level that 
ever made villanous faces., shall be your Northampton. 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



293 



Your story is so universally known, that your appearance 
as a player will inevitably draw a good house." 

(i I could wish that my merit, rather than my mis- 
fortunes, should contribute to my success/' I remarked. 

" Go, go ; don't be foolish/' he replied ; ee the greater 
the audience, the more to perceive your merit. Who 
cares what brings 'em, so they be brought ? " 

Anxious as I undoubtedly was, seeing that I could not 
secure Booth, to make my first appearance as an actor in a 
character I myself had written, and which, accordingly, I 
might naturally be supposed to understand thoroughly, I 
felt, nevertheless, a great repugnance against submitting, 
or rather committing my play to the talons of Cibber. 

I was obliged to submit with as good a grace as I could 
muster, to the interpolations of this busy meddler who, to 
say the truth, was not deficient in good nature, and who 
really conceived he was doing me a service. The young 
Theophilus was set down for Somerset, and nattered him- 
self that an opportunity would be at length afforded him 
of showing the world in general, and the " old put," his 
father, in particular, that he was destined to achieve great 
things on the stage. 

The night was at length fixed — the play was advertised ; 
the first appearance of the author himself, in the principal 
character, stood conspicuous in the bills, and full of hope 
and expectation — confident of myself, at least, if not of 
my play, I awaited the issue. 

That I had formed a preposterously absurd estimate of 
my abilities as an actor, with great confusion of coun- 
tenance I am compelled to admit. Some decried my face, 
others abused my figure ; others, again, objected to my 
voice ; these, severally and collectively, served as texts for 
a discourse on my incapacity. These were not disqua- 
lifications. My face was not amiss ; my figure was tole- 
rable ; and my voice, if not strong, was flexible and me- 
lodious. I may as well tell the truth at once — I had no 
genius for acting. How was it that Betterton, at three 
score years and ten, wrinkled, gouty, and ■ scant of breath, 
could present Hamlet to the wonder and delight equally of 
exacting age and of apprehensive vouth ? — how, but by 
u 3 



294 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



the force of genius, which plumped up his cheeks, inflated 
his lungs, and put the spirit of thirty into his legs ? 
There is no art, which is to convey genius, that imposes 
so perfect a study of it, as the art of acting. A want of 
rhythm may be forgiven in the poet, and a deficiency of 
drawing in the painter ; but laughter is the lot of the in- 
artificial player. That I escaped the horror of positive 
wide-mouthed cachinnation is to be set down to the fact of 
my having, to a certain extent, cultivated the art. How I 
grin, at this moment, to think that I should ever have ob- 
truded my cub-like inefficiency upon the stage ! 

But, an unpractised actor, performing for the first time, 
on the first night of his own play — as though I had not 
sufficient to disconcert me — there was my devilish mother 
in a side-box, gay and giggling, finger-pointing, and ex- 
pounding into the ear of the smirking and self-satisfied 
Sinclair, who sat between her and the woman whom, of all 
the world, I had long panted to behold, and yet whose pre- 
sence upon so trying an occasion to myself, even more than 
the exhibition of Mrs. Brett, fluttered my spirits, and 
alarmed my fortitude. I was well nigh fainting when my 
eyes first lighted upon three persons, towards whom my 
heart owned such different feelings ; and I was fain, when 
I left the stage, to recruit myself with a copious draught 
of brandy. Said the shocking woman — the mother — 
when having re-entered the stage, I took my station be- 
neath her box, that I might escape her hateful gaze : u Our 
young Sir Thomas appears to have taken his poison early 
in the play, does he not ? " 

" Grim, madam — very grim," returned the civil cox- 
comb. " We know not what we have to expect. He 
foreshows his fate." 

" And will deserve it, I dare say, sir, before he has done. 
His crime is dulness, and should be punished with death." 

ct Nay, dear Madam," said Sinclair, whispering some- 
thing. 

cc That's true," she said, with a jeering laugh ; iC not at 
their hands, certainly. They partake his crime/ ' 

But what said the sweet and gentle creature whose face 
ever beamed with mercy, and breathed it ? Not a syllable 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



295 



came from her lips the whole evening, although, as I saw, 
Sinclair directed many remarks to her. The agreeable 
rattle was baffled, and looked not so agreeable (I enjoyed 
his mortification from behind) when the curtain fell amid 
tumultuous applause, which, to say the truth, did more 
honour to the audience than to the play or the performers. 

Sir Thomas Overbury was played three nights, and then 
withdrawn, and to my no small satisfaction ; for by this 
time I had become thoroughly disgusted with my be-Cib- 
bered play, and with my own qualifications as an actor. 
I saw not Mrs. Brett, or her Sinclair, or my pale and trem- 
bling Elizabeth on the second or on the last night. This 
was a relief to me that I cannot express. Had my mother 
known how great a relief it was, she, at least, had revisited me. 

" It must not, however, be inferred that my tragedy was 
not tolerably successful, because it was only performed three 
nights. It was brought out in the summer, when the town 
is thin, and when no play, or set of players, could draw 
full houses. It was worth the while of the actors, who took 
part in my play, to co-operate with me, for we played for 
our common benefit, and the receipts were larger than we 
counted upon. 

Of the tragedy itself, time has enabled me to think with 
justice, and now entitles me to speak openly, without the 
imputation of vanity. Such portion of it as I could call 
my own was by no means without merit ; nay, when my 
youth and the difficulties under which it was composed are 
borne in mind, it displayed no common (I will not call it 
genius, but) aptness for dramatic composition. Such, also, 
was the opinion of many gentlemen, eminent in literature, 
and celebrated for their exactness of judgment — perhaps, 
I may add, who deserved celebrity on the score of their 
tenderness and humanity. Under their advice, I gave it to 
the public, Cibber's heaviness and all ; which, indeed, 
might have conduced to its success upon the stage — for an 
audience loves novelty less than repetition ; and Cibber's 
rumble filled the general ear, and was familiar to it. The 
tragedy, its performance and publication, served my purpose, 
putting more than a hundred pounds into my pocket — a 
sum much larger than had ever before found its way there, 
u 4 



296 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



and which, until I took it fairly in hand, I looked upon as 
almost inexhaustible. 

The critics, to be sure, were rather hard upon me ; but 
about these whimsical gentry and their mysterious ways, it 
is not well or wise that a man, who has brains in his head, 
should care a rush. Criticism, which sometimes endea- 
vours to make dulness more opaque, and genius more 
radiant, too frequently strives to brighten the dull, and to 
obscure] the splendid. But dulness is not so well known 
to be dull when it is pelted with mud ; and a large candle 
may be seen without lighting a little one to see it by. 
And when a man rails at genius, he takes pains to be a 
fool ; and when he exalts dulness, he is a fool for his 
pains. What shall rescue criticism from contempt, when 
we have seen the greatest critic of his time most intolerant 
of the greatest poet of his age ? Pope lives, and will live 
for ever. Dennis is dead, and will for ever remain so. 

Praised, caressed, and flattered on all hands, but such as 
dabble in the ink-stand — money in the pocket — lightness 
in the bosom — vanity in the head — I showed myself 
once again in the taverns and chocolate-houses, and paid 
off some of the old scores of insult that had been lent me 
to help my decadency when I lost the esteem of Steele. 
But there were many with whom I renewed a friendship 
which I had been the first to suspend ; for I hold (although 
necessity has often compelled me to swerve from my doc- 
trine) that when a man becomes low in the world, the best 
thing he can do, both for his own sake and for that of his 
friends, is to keep aloof from them ; and this, not because 
he so much doubts the stability of their friendship, as that 
he values it too highly to hazard its dissolution. Friend- 
ship is a horse that carries double ; but the riders should 
be of a mind. It cannot walk and gallop at the same time. 

I found some difficulty in satisfying Gregory that I had 
not neglected him, and Langley rallied me unmercifully 
upon my pride. But Steele had taught me to place entire 
confidence in no man, and I needed not experience to teach 
me that Langley and myself were best apart when we could 
not meet upon an equal footing. Between Myte and my- 
self a perfect, although a tacit, understanding subsisted. I 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



297 



knew that he was always glad to see me when I was pre- 
sentable, and that he would as lief have seen the devil at 
his house as Richard Savage, or any other friend, when he 
was in a sorry plight. He acted with perfect propriety, as 
the world goes. Poverty is no pleasing spectacle, least of 
all to those who have emerged out of it. Let not Myte 
lose in the esteem of my readers what he never lost in 
mine. I did not respect him the less for his adhesion to 
the world's forms, and he respected me the more that I sub- 
mitted to them. If for any human being, he would have 
broken through them, if he could, for me. 

I could not learn much from Gregory in reference to 
Elizabeth — whom I had often seen (myself unseen) during 
the last two years, and whose appearance at the theatre, 
with the tender solicitude for my success her eye conveyed, 
had, while it assured me of the continuance of her regard, 
made me conscious how much more I loved her than I had 
deemed it possible I could love. He had only to tell me 
(and this information he derived from Merchant,) that 
Sinclair had pressed his suit with great earnestness, and that 
he had not hitherto proved successful ; but that he confi- 
dently relied upon Mrs. Brett's agency towards the com- 
pletion of his hopes. 

His own marriage had, it seemed, been delayed at the 
joint instance of his father and Myte, who objected to the 
youth of their children, but who, Gregory suspected, had 
been severally disappointed, when they laid their heads 
together over the desk, at finding that each was not so rich 
as the other had concluded him to be. Old Gregory 
thought that his son ought not to go to the altar for a trifle ; 
and old Myte was of opinion that his daughter, with a trifle, 
need not meet at the altar the son of old Gregory. He had 
been heard by his daughter to mumble something about 
Lothario once or twice, as a desirable fish not yet utterly 
beyond the reach of his angle. 

Towards Sinclair, I began to entertain no kindly 
feelings. His insolence at the theatre was not so direct 
that I could laid hold upon it, for the purpose of making 
it the foundation of a quarrel, and yet it was so base and 
unmanly as to justify me to myself in the determination I 



298 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



came to, of seeking a quarrel with him. Besides, his per- 
tinacious persecution of Miss Wilfred, backed, as it was, 
by my mother, began to irritate me exceedingly. It was 
high time that I should snatch the prize out of their hands, 
and at once fulfil my own happiness, satiate my revenge, 
and gratify my resentment — my revenge against my mo- 
ther and Sinclair, and my resentment against Steele, which, 
only since my good fortune, had kindled in my bosom. 

In a happy hour I lighted on Merchant, who was ex- 
ceedingly glad to see me, as, indeed, he ever was ; for he 
knew that his company was acceptable to me. Before me, 
he could launch forth without fear of rebuke or moral re- 
prehension ; but I believe, when he inveighed against the 
world, that it was merely talk, and that he thought higher 
of human nature than he chose to acknowledge. We 
dined together, and compared notes. He listened to my 
story with interest, and I to his with regret. 

" It is my curse or my misfortune, Savage," said he, as 
we sat over the second bottle, ce that, like poor Jack Loveil, 
(how many of us there are in the world !), with a perfect 
knowledge of what is right, I am compelled for ever to do 
that which is wrong ; and not only to do mean things, for 
many a fine fellow is brought down to that, but to be 
myself a mean thing. What do you think of laughing 
because another chooses to be merry, and to be grave be- 
cause another is in the sulks, and all because that other 
carries the bag ? and not this alone, but to be put upon 

things that a man's own — d it ! master — to say it 

out at once — that one's own master is ashamed of doing 
in his own person. Nor is this all ; to feign a willingness, 
and to feign it well too, or expulsion and dismissal are your 
portion ; to put on an appearance of alacrity when such 
things are proposed, and to skulk away to perform them 
with the crazing consciousness that the most despicable 
hound you know in the world is not half so despicable as 
yourself, and that he knows it, and holds you in deserved 
contempt for it. What is your opinion of a service like 
this ? " 

" That it is dog-service," said I indignantly ; " Mer- 
chant, you shock me. None but a dog " 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



299 



c< Take not away the character of dogs/' he interrupted ; 
" their tails never wag but when they are pleased. I wish 
I could say the same of my tongue. This paramount fel- 
low, Sinclair — your friend and schoolfellow — I have sold 
myself to him — that part of a man which is invaluable 
till it is bargained for, and not worth a rush when it is 
bought — that have I sold; what the great call honour, 
and the small, conscience ; do you take me ? " striking 
the table with the back of his hand. 

cc Come, come., you are making too much of this," said 
I. " Sinclair is your patron, and is probably vain of 
being so — shows it too grossly sometimes, perhaps. You 
could not have descended so low, and retained the pride 
that impelled your speech just now." 

" That's it," he exclaimed ; " there you're wrong. 
Did you ever see a little boy tread upon a twig, keeping it 
to the ground with his foot ? When he takes away his 
foot, up springs the twig, and his young chaps catch it. 
So it is with a man's pride. He may tread it under his 
foot, but if he do not break it, 'twill fly into his face as 
mine does now. Why had I not seen you oftener ? Your 
example had shamed me. From this day forth I have 
done with him. I relinquish him to Lemery and Simms." 

<c And who are they ? " I inquired. 

" Slaves that will make the devil think human souls 
are not worth trying after ; that they are gudgeons easily 
caught, and worth nothing. At this moment, the three 
are about as base a business, as ever brought fruit to the 
gallows-tree. You will clap your hands when I tell it you ; 
for it is a cross-bite practised upon your delectable mo- 
ther." 

u Aye ? " said I, suddenly interested ; " how's that ? 
Sinclair and Mrs. Brett are the best friends in life." 

u They are so, but what of that ? " he replied ; ee must 
not old adages be suffered to stand their ground ? Have 
you no respect for our great grandmothers, who got it from 
Solomon, and have told us what friendship is ? Now for 
my story. There is a young person — a young lady let 
me call her — living with your mother, — a nominal 
niece ; most great houses are furnished with one." 



300 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



" You mean Miss Wilfred/' I exclaimed, impatiently ; 
" go on, I beseech you." 

" You know her, then, Sinclair told me you did not. 
Well, he conceived a passion for the girl — no wonder. 
Such a divinity ! By heaven ! I gnaw my heart when I 
think of it. But to go on. Miss, wise in her generation, 
or deficient in taste, wouldn't have the man ; prayers — 
entreaties — threats from Mrs. Brett — no, all would not 
do ; he was not the man. Behold now, what a noble 
scheme enters the heart of my Sinclair — a heart, do you 
mark ? which is now as full of malice as of love — for he 
has been rejected, you see ; and man is a magnanimous 
fellow in his way. He obtains Mrs. Brett's consent to 
carry off the girl under pretence of conducting her to the 
theatre (Mrs. Brett will follow in a few minutes in her 
chair — do you take?) to his own lodgings, where a 
parson, less scrupulous than serviceable, is in readiness to 
tie the knot. That is the understanding -with Mrs. Brett, 
and to that she consents." 

" Gracious Heaven ! and when is this scheme intended 
to be put into operation ? " 

" How pale you turn, and stare ! " he returned ; " w T hat 
is all this to you or to me ? Such things are done daily. 
But the worst of it is, this will not be done. Mrs. Brett 
is to be outwitted. What do you think of lay Lemery for 
a parson, and secular Sim ins for a clerk — a sham to save 
appearances for a time, and to have his revenge upon the 
girl ? " 

" Good Heavens ! speak," I cried in a frenzy starting 
from my seat, " when is this to be ? " 

ce It is over by this time, I dare say," he replied ; " but 
what's the matter ? " 

I had fallen back into my chair, as though shot through 
the heart. The dew gathered upon my forehead — I had 
not strength to wipe it thence. " Where is this scene 
acting ? " I demanded in a faint voice. 

He evaded my question, which I repeated two or three 
times. "What signifies it?" he said; "you are not 
going to turn chevalier for your mother, are you — or for 
the girl ? What ails you ? " 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



SOI 



iC Where is it?" I exclaimed in a voice of thunder, 
which caused the waiter to pop his head in at the door, 
and to withdraw it as suddenly. I seized my hat and 
sword. " The place — the place — by Heaven ! I must 
know it." 

" Charing Cross. Robinson s Coffee House." 

" That house of infamy ! Merchant — " I turned to 
him, clenching my fist in his face, " if this infernal pro- 
ject shall have proved successful, it were best we never 
meet again. Your heart's blood shall flow for it. What 
am I saying ? You did not know — you could not 
know " 

He caught me by the cuff, and the skirt of my coat. 
" Why, you're not going there ? You're drunk — sit 
down. This fellow Sinclair would make nothing of whip- 
ping you through the body. What says Mercutio ? e one, 
two, and the third in your bosom — the very butcher of 
a silk button.' If it were Lemery and Simms, now, a 
great round mouth and a e bo ' would frighten 'em out of 
the window " 

I tore myself away from him, and rushed into the 
street. We had been sitting in Morris's Coffee House in 
Norfolk Street. Charing Cross was no great distance off. 
I ran there as fast as my legs would carry me (and they 
never better served me), and up the long passage leading 
to the vile house, which I burst into without ceremony. 

"Whom may you please to want, sir?" inquired a 
woman with the most shockingly ill-favoured countenance 
I had ever beheld, as she met me midway in the entrance, 
standing there as though bent upon arresting my progress. 

" You have a wedding party up stairs, I believe," I 
brought out, fetching a long breath. 

She hesitated a moment. " You are a friend of the 
gentleman, sir ? La ! I think I have seen your face 
before." 

cc And I yours," I returned ; and so I had ; but where, 
I had not time to study. ce I am a friend of the gentle- 
man — and of the lady, too." 

I had said too much, it seemed. u You can't pass : 
no friends of ladies are allowed here. Dick ! Dick ! " 



302 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



Dick, however, was not forthcoming. " Woman/' said 
I, " if you have never beaten hemp at Bridewell, and been 
whipped there, your turn will soon come, if you do not let 
me pass you. The constables will soon be at my heels, I 
promise you." 

So saying, I laid my hand upon the shoulders of the 
frightful woman, and pushing her aside hastened up stairs. 

I needed no special direction to the room. The voice 
of a female in supplication, and as I judged, upon her 
knees to Sinclair, w r hose voice I heard too, alternately 
expostulating and threatening — these were more than 
enough for me. I tried the handle of the door — it was 
fast. I knocked loudly at it. 

" Who's there ? what, in the devil's name is the matter 
now?" cried Sinclair. 

" It is I — open the door — you had better ; or I will 
force it open." 

<e Who are you ? What do you want ? Begone, fellow." 

(e Good sir, whoever you be — I am sure you will be 
my friend. Release me from these barbarous men." It 
was Elizabeth who addressed me. 

Ci Trust me, dear madam, I will," I replied. <f Sin- 
clair, you base hound," I exclaimed, trying to force the 
lock, which, however, resisted all my efforts, " you shall 
pay dearly for this. My name is Savage " 

A shriek followed — and a clasping together of the 
hands. " Great Heavens, Mr. Sinclair," cried Elizabeth, 
" in mercy's name do not " 

I heard no more. With the strength and violence of a 
madman, having receded several paces, I threw myself 
upon the door, and burst it open. 

Sinclair had measured his distance, and made his lunge 
well. Had it not been that the force I had exerted caused 
me to come half headlong into the room, and in an oblique 
direction, his sword had inevitably gone clean through my 
body. As it was, it passed through the top of my sleeve, 
raking my shoulder slightly. Catching hold upon the 
wrist of his sword-arm, with one hand, I grasped him in 
the side with the other, and flinging him from me with all 
my force — a force augmented by hatred and rage, I 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



303 



dashed him against a table spread with decanters and 
glasses — upon and over which he was thrown, and which, 
with a crash, came with him to the ground. 

He was greatly hurt, for he did not rise, but with loud 
curses called upon his confederates to thrust me from the 
room, and make fast the door. 

The terrified girl clung about me imploring my protec- 
tion. " Dear Mr. Savage, you will take me from this 
place, won't you ? I am sure you will. You are not a 
friend of Mr. Sinclair, as they told me you were. ,, 

I had not shown myself so, indeed ; nor did I care at 
that moment to give him any further proof of my enmity. 
I took the trembling creature round the waist, and led her 
to the door. Turning to the two men, I said, " You had 
better not stir. Take care of your master or your friend. 
He needs your assistance. Your ordination is of recent 
date, Mr. Lemery. I know you ; and, Mr. Simms, when 
I next see you, you will not cry ' amen ' to my greeting." 

I hastened down stairs with my fluttering prize, who 
still clung closely to my arm. An evil-faced, bull-dog 
looking fellow was in the passage. 

c< Dick," said I, half familiarly, half imperiously, cc I've 
a guinea for you, when you have got me a coach." 

The fellow's face relaxed into amiability. C( Your 
honour," he began 

" Dick, you cowardly rogue you," cried the woman, 
" let him pass at your peril." 

u Draw your sword, sir," said Dick, iC and make belief 
to stick me — only make belief, if you please, your honour." 

I did so, and the fellow, affecting a fear that, I'll be 
sworn, he never felt since he could write or fight man, ran 
out of the house, protesting that he would not wait to be 
spitted for the whim of the best woman that ever wore 
petticoat. 

u Pretty doings ! " cried the woman, coming forward, 
" that a gentleman can't marry a lady comfortably — " 

u Dear, good woman," began my Elizabeth, " pray, 
take pity on me — I will bless you for ever." 

Such words from an angel to so hideous a hag ! I 
thrust the execrable woman into her room, turning the key 



304 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



against her ; and taking my lovely burthen in my arms, 
carried her down the passage, and placed her in safety in a 
coach, which had drawn up at the entrance ; and thrusting 
a guinea into Dick's leathern hand, leaped in after her. 

6( Where to, your honour ? " said Dick. 

I knew not where. " Hyde Park Gate," said I, and the 
coach was presently in motion. 



CHAPTER X. 

RICHARD SAVAGE RECEIVES A VISIT FROM A GENTLEMAN OF A 
PECULIAR TURN IN MORALS, AND TAKES A LAST FAREWELL OF 
SIR RICHARD STEELE. 

It was some time before Elizabeth was mistress sufficiently 
of her senses, to be made to comprehend that no further 
violence was to be feared from Sinclair ; that she had 
escaped him, and was now under the protection of a friend 
who would not leave her till he had seen her to some place 
of safety. I inferred from her extreme alarm, that Sin- 
clair had been brute enough to terrify her with menaces, 
an inference that made me devoutly wish that I had broken 
the villain's neck, and caused me to regret that I had not 
taken summary vengeance upon his wretched accomplices. 

At length she partly heeded my entreaties, that she 
would be composed, releasing herself gently from my en- 
circling arm, and withdrawing her hand, which she had 
unconsciously placed in mine, when I entered the coach. 

" O sir ! " she exclaimed, " how shall I thank you for 
preserving me from that wicked man, and what will you 
think of me that I trusted myself alone with him for 
a moment ? Indeed, it was not my fault — I can explain 
that." 

ec I must not permit you — forgive me — to explain'any- 
thing till you are more yourself," said I. iC Collect your 
spirits, and tell me whither I can have the pleasure of ac- 
companying you. You do not, I hope, intend to return to 
the house of Mrs. Brett ? " 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



305 



" Not for the world/' she replied, hastily. " Pray, 
Mr. Savage, take me to some place ; I do not care how low 
or humble it is or where, so that it may be away from 
her. I will never go back to Mrs. Brett. I am sure she 
arranged the plan with Mr. Sinclair to carry me off, that he 
might make me forcibly his wife. Do not you think so, sir ? 
I am a very unhappy girl, Mr. Savage, and she has made 
me so, who never injured her in word or thought. I would 
have laid down my life for her, had she wished it, and she 
knew it. Was it not barbarous of her to persecute me ? 

I checked her softly. There was a wildness in her air, 
and in her eyes, and in her voice, that alarmed me. " Was 
it not barbarous of her to persecute me ! " There was 
something so touching in tbat appeal, that it made me hate 
the woman who had occasioned it more thoroughly at that 
moment, than I could ever bring myself to do (and I have 
tried heartily) since. 

" Dear madam," I observed, (i you can easily escape 
her malice — if I can suppose that even Mrs. Brett can 
entertain any malice against you — at any rate you may 
defeat her designs, whether malicious or otherwise, by 
placing yourself under the protection of your father. Shall 
I order the coachman to drive us to his house ? " 

She joyfully assented to the proposal ; and I gave the 
necessary directions to the coachman. 

" And yet/' she said, after a pause, " I fear my father 
will be very angry with me. He has for some time past, 
so Mrs. Brett has assured me, encouraged Mr. Sinclair's 
addresses ; and who knows (for I have learned, I fear, to 
distrust every body) but this dreadful scheme may have 
been undertaken with his concurrence ? " 

" This is not the time, my dear young lady," I replied, 
with a due sense of my own importance in the business, 
" to disclose what were Mr. Sinclair's intentions, which I 
discovered in a manner I cannot but consider as providen- 
tial ; but, be assured, he will not for his own sake think of 
molesting you again." 

" You terrify me. Mr. Sinclair's intentions were " 

(i Worthy of Mr. Sinclair, madam. Pray, be not 
alarmed. You have nothing to fear from Sir Richard 
x 



306 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



Steele's displeasure. Mrs. Brett will answer for herself, 
and she will he made to do so. Her treatment of her own 
son has been such as will hardly justify the world to itself, 
which is well acquainted with her conduct, in feeling any 
surprise at her unwomanly treatment, even of the daughter 
of Sir Richard Steele." 

My feelings had carried me too far. They were never 
in safe keeping when I trusted myself to speak of Mrs. 
Brett. Perhaps, too, I hardly believed what my words 
seemed to hint — that she was a party with Sinclair in the 
sham marriage ; and yet I grievously suspected it. 

" Good heavens ! I think I understand you now/' ex- 
claimed Elizabeth. " Can it be that Mrs. Brett — no, no, 
I must not — I should not think that. O, Mr. Savage ! " 
taking my hand between hers, " how infinitely grateful I 
ought to be, and will be, to you." 

Selfish slave that I was ! how I delighted in this as- 
surance which, while it immeasurably overpaid my service, 
made me feel like a creditor yearning for a hundredfold 
his due. 

By this time, we were come to Steele's house. I got out, 
and requested to see Sir Richard instantly, on particular 
business. He was at his f€ Hovel " at Hampton, but was 
expected in town on the following morning. I returned 
to the coach in some perplexity, and related the unwelcome 
news. 

" Unfortunate ! " said Elizabeth : " what trouble I give 
you, dear sir ; but I have no other friend to look to in my 
distress. If I knew where to go — or who would receive 
me " 

An expedient suggested itself to me. " I have a friend," 
said I, (( living but a short distance off, whose wife and 
daughter, most respectable and amiable ladies, would, I 
venture to say, be most happy to pay you every attention. 
It is happily thought on. I hope I hardly need say, my 
honour " 

cc You are only too good," she said hastily ; and with a 
blush added, " While I am under the protection of Mr. 
Savage, I know I am quite safe. Wherever you please to 
take me, I know I shall be kindly used." 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



307 



Not even Sinclair could have resisted this,, had it been 
said to him — unworthy, as he was, of so confiding a 
sweetness. The driver once more put his jaded steeds 
into paralytic progression, and we were shortly at Myte's 
door. Requesting Miss Wilfred to excuse me for a minute, 
I alighted from the coach, and had Myte called down 
stairs. I drew him into a side-room. 

" I have brought a young lady to see you, sir/' 

" A lady ! " cried he, scratching his ear, " what ! the 
lady of ail others — 4 the inexpressive she — ' the lady 
whose eyes made your heart go ' thump/ and who has at 
last taken pity on you ? " 

" A lady," said I, " who stands in need of Mrs. Myte's 
care and protection, which I am certain you will readily 
permit her to extend to Miss Wilfred, when I have told you 
the circumstances." 

c< Whew ! " cried Myte, when I had concluded, and he 
ran out of the room, I following him, and was presently 
at the coach door. 

" My dear young lady," said he, w r ith a low and grace- 
ful bow, e( pray do me the honour of taking my arm. You 
are most welcome. My ladies will be delighted to make 
your acquaintance. Ricardo there, has told me every 
thing." 

" You are very — very kind," returned the grateful 
girl. ct Mr. Savage has obliged me beyond expression." 

" And us, too, I assure you," replied Myte with a 
gallant air, " by entrusting so charming a lady to our 
protection." 

ie Now, Ricardo," said he, when I had discharged the 
fair, " give Miss Wilfred your more serviceable arm, and 
follow me. I go flying up stairs to let the womenkind 
know their hearts are wanted. Flusterina ! " running 
into the room, " show yourself worthy of the name, and 
scamper after your salts, which you can carry in one hand, 
while you bring a bottle of wine with the other. Here's 
Ricardo has brought a young lady, whom he has rescued 
out of the hands of the Philistines, some of whom have 
been handed down to these times. Vandal, my love, be- 
come acquainted with Miss Wilfred." 

x 2 



303 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



Mrs. Myte obeyed her husband's behest, snatch in g, as 
she retired, a hasty glance at Elizabeth ; and the dear 
little Martha led her to a seat with a look of compassionate 
interest and regard which made her face, for the moment, 
almost as beautiful (she will pardon me this) as that of her 
guest. 

" No notes of interrogation and interjection," cried 
Myte, when his wife reappeared with a bottle and glasses, 
cc till Miss Wilfred has drunk two bumpers of wine. 
Bumpers, let them be. Take it off, young lady, and don't 
mind my women, who will be very glad, I dare say, to 
accept your gratitude before they have done any thing to 
deserve it. Nay, no bird-sips. Never be ashamed of 
doing what your father has so often done before you. Was 
I right there, Ricardo," he added, taking me aside, ee in 
alluding to Sir Richard, of that name the first — immortal 
Dicky ! " 

Elizabeth now began to utter fervent acknowledgments 
of the kindness of the two ladies. 

" When you know them better, madam," said Myte, 
interposing, " you will find out what I have long ago dis- 
covered to my cost, that they're common English crockery 
— you may match 'em in any house in the street." 

He took me to the other end of the room. t€ Charming 
creature, eh ? isn't she ? " said he, looking up at me, with 
a bent and critical brow. " Don't you think the room 
seems lighter and warmer with her face in it ? Una — 
the very name. I shall call her Una. But, Ricardo, you 
look as grim as a rat-catcher when he sees a tabby. What 
ailest thou? Shall we have a sneaker of punch down 
stairs ? " 

(C With all my heart. I was thinking it would be 
better we should leave the ladies together for a time." 

Ci You are right. My women's ears are thirsty for all 
that Una is anxious to pour into them. Leave them alone 
to follow a long story till they run their sage noses against 
the end of it. Ladies, this gentleman and I are about to 
leave you ! " 

cf Is Mr. Savage going?" said Elizabeth, rising, in some 
confusion. Martha's eye met mine, and I detected a 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



309 



slight smile upon her lip. Mr. Myte exchanged a glance 
with his wife. 

" We return present! y, madam," he answered ; " a 
voice from the plantations calls us hence. When we 
have heard what it has to say to us, we shall rejoin you." 

" A pity/' said Myte, as we descended the stairs, " that 
women can't keep their own secrets better than other peo- 
ple's. Una is determined you shan't steal her heart 
without letting all the world know the robbery you have 
committed." 

ec My dear Mr. Myte," I cried in a rapture, " and do 
you really think " 

" Never," he returned. " My brain only grows mus- 
tard and cress — a little dish of notions soon raised. A 
fresh crop every other day. But while I mix the punch, 
you must tell your tale again. Shockingly concise the first 
time. Meat, pudding, and custard all on the table at 
once." 

I was not unwilling, I confess, to recount my recent 
exploit at large, since it afforded me the opportunity of 
lowering Sinclair in the esteem of Myte, and of raising 
Gregory by the comparison. After we had entered, I re- 
lated the whole particulars of the fray, and made him 
acquainted with .the means through which I had become 
possessed of Sinclair's intentions. 

" This is all very well," said Myte, when I had finished, 
" but I never hear of any thing that has taken place, but 
I wish that I had been there to have seen it ; for those 
that have seen it commonly tell it as though they had 
only heard it. I want not only to know what took place, 
but how it occurred. I don't care for the list of killed and 
wounded, I like to see the battle. Now — you run down 
the Strand like a man who has debts to pay, and happens 
to be in a hurry. Head first into the tavern you go. 
You jostle past Mother Shocking in the passage, and up 
stairs. The door is burst open. How looks Mr. Sinclair 
— where is he ? " 

6 ' Guarding the door — in attitude, as I conjecture — 
brows and teeth set — his sword 

" Like a thin streak of lightning a-tilt at your vitals, 
x 3 



310 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



ha ! ha ! " cried Myte. " You close with him, and throw 
him over a table. Break his leg " 

(< I hope not," said I ; cc but he is much hurt, for he 
attempted to rise two or three times, but could not." 

" Let him be/' said Myte. " Where is the terrified 
victim ? " 

" Rising from her knees when I first saw her — her 
hands clasped — her eyes wild — her head-dress in disorder. 
Immediately afterwards she was clinging to my arm." 

C( And the two worthy associates — Conrad and Bora- 
chio — -what are they about?" 

(£ They stood to all appearance paralysed ; nor did they 
stir an inch the whole time." 

" Although the gentleman on the floor/' said Myte, 
<c besought them in the language they best understood to 
do so. Pretty innocents ! I should like their effigies for 
my coal cellar. Well, was there no painted thing in petti- 
coats with a white handkerchief in one hand and a bottle 
in the other, in case of a fainting — to attend upon the 
bride ? " 

" There was not." 

" That's strange/' said Myte. u And what is this 
place — this Robinson's ? " 

i( I need not tell you. No place for Miss Wilfred. 
You understand me?" 

Myte emitted a loud sound like a cluck, and flinging 
up his arras, went and hid his head in a corner. 

" I'll tell you what/' said he, turning round ; (i this 
Lothario will make the finest gentleman in town, one of 
these days. I have great hopes of him, if busy brothers 
and lenient husbands will but let him alone. And this, 
you think, has been planned in concert with your mother ? " 

" I am certain of it," I replied ; but I was not so. 
She who gave me breath had begun to teach me to mis- 
use it. 

" O, the dear creature ! " cried Myte ; " one glass to 
her health, if you think it won't choke us. Richard 
Savage," he added, with a very unusual gravity and ear- 
nestness, " I ought to be obliged to you, and I am. This 
has cured me. This man would have broken my Martha's 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



311 



heart, and that would have broken mine. Drink up the 
punch, and let us go above stairs. Sir Richard Steele 
ought to love you for this. If he do not — I'll burn his 
books, and never read his ' Tender Husband ' and £ Con- 
scious Lovers ' again. And, furthermore, I'll buy up all 
his bonds, and make him pay 'em — if I can." 
" That was well added/' cried I. 

u I have tried and failed in less hopeless attempts, I ac- 
knowledge/' said Myte. " Come along. What will my 
son Langley and his wife think of this ? Lothario was a 
vast favourite with them." 

cc Money in his purse, and a long rent-roll, arid who 
would not be ? " thought I, as I followed him. 

When Myte returned to the ladies, his wife and daughter 
simultaneously opened their mouths upon him. 

" How could you ever think favourably of Mr. Sinclair, 
my love ? " said Mrs. Myte. " I always told you I had 
no opinion of him." 

ec I was never deceived in Mr. Sinclair," said Martha ; 
ec but, papa, you know you were always so obstinate, and 
would never listen to reason." 

ce You are two very wise little women, and I'm a very 
foolish little man/' returned Myte, somewhat chagrined. 
" Mr. Richard Savage," he added, " I have settled my 
wisdom upon my wife and daughter lest the world might 
rob me of it, if I carried it about with me." 

<( You are right," said I, laughing. " Wisdom, like 
gold, is best left at home. Small change suffices out of 
doors. But, unlike gold, there are very few that crave it." 

u I shall say that the next time I am rallied upon my 
dulness," said Myte. a But if very few crave it, why am 
I right for leaving it at home ? I might as well take it 
with me. Nay, you shan't sit down to-night. It is 
getting late ; and Miss Wilfred is exhausted. I wonder 
whether Semiramis intends to sit up for you, madam ? 
Shall I send round and inquire ? " 

" Semiramis ! " repeated Elizabeth, in vague surprise. 

" I mean Mrs. Brett. You are not accustomed to my 
modes of speech, madam. We shall be better known to 
each other by-and-by." 

x 4 



312 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



ei Indeed I hope we shall, sir," she replied. u I shall 
ever be anxious to deserve the esteem of Mr. Savage's 
friends," 

" Go along home after that/' said Myte, in a low tone ; 
<f if you should knock your head against the stars, it is not 
your fault, but hers/' 

" But what we all want to know before Mr. Savage 
goes, is this," cried Mrs. Myte. " How did he discover 
that Miss Wilfred was carried off by Sinclair? " 

ec Yes, we must hear that," said Martha. " Presump- 
tuous man ! to think of marrying a lady against her will, 
indeed ! " 

" Indeed, that is often thought on, and done, too," said 
Myte. ei But Ricardo leaves that to me to tell," with a 
wink at me. 

A pressure of the hand — a few disordered words, and 
a look which was better than words, had they been the 
best that even her lips could have spoken — these lifted me 
above the ground as I left Myte's house. 



END OF THE SECOND VOLUME. 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



313 



THIRD VOLUME. 



CHAPTER I. 

WHICH TREATS OF DIVERS MATTERS VERY NECESSARY TO BE READ 
BY ALL WHO WOULD ACQUIRE A FULL KNOWLEDGE OF THE 
CHARACTER OF RICHARD SAVAGE. 

Within a month, Sir Richard Steele withdrew his daughter 
from Myte's house. The Countess of Hertford had kindly 
consented to take her under her care, saying that Miss 
Wilfred would be useful to her in many ways, but chiefly 
in the instruction of her children, till they became of suf- 
ficient age to require the assistance of masters. During 
Elizabeth's stay at Myte's house, Steele frequently called 
there, and upon every occasion very handsomely acknow- 
ledged the obligation he lay under to the little man and his 
family for the protection they had afforded his daughter. 

" Odso ! as BickerstafF says," remarked Myte to me 
afterwards, " he was so mightily civil and polite to me, 
that T thought he wanted to borrow money, which, since 
the chancellor's decision against him in the suit of Wilks, 
Cibber, and Booth, which ties him up from drawing any 
more money from the theatre for some time to come, would 
be but a brittle bowl for any gold fish. If he had left 
Una with me as security, now, and were not going to the 
land of goats and flannel, he might have prevailed upon 
me to lend him as much as I knew he could be made to 
repay. Lord, what an honest gentleman he is, if good 
intentions were of value in the market ! 94 

Sir Richard, it appeared, while he but slightly adverted 
to the timely aid I had offered his daughter, informed her 
that he bad waited upon Mrs. Brett, and had avowed the 
strong indignation he felt towards her, for permitting 
Elizabeth to be in the power of Sinclair, even for a mo- 



314 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



nient ; and when Mrs. Brett was at length obliged to con- 
fess that she had given her consent to a forced marriage, 
and had purposely left the coach to facilitate its contrac- 
tion, he flung away from her in a rage, declaring not only 
that his daughter should never return to her house, but 
that he begged to relinquish all further acquaintance with 
her. He said further that he wished the villany of Sinclair 
to be kept private, since he did not desire to destroy the 
character of Mrs. Brett, which must be irretrievably ruined 
should her conduct become known ; adding, that the world 
would never be brought to believe that Sinclair's intentions 
and her own were not one. He had already enjoined the 
strictest secrecy upon Myte and his family, and he hoped, 
if Elizabeth retained (he used the word) any influence 
over me, she would dissuade me from the publication of 
my mother's participation of the matter, and, indeed, of 
the entire adventure. He assured her, the day previous to 
her departure, that her hand should be at her own disposal, 
and expressed his confidence in her sense and judgment, 
and in conclusion consented to Elizabeth's reception of me 
as her future husband, if the Countess of Hertford per- 
mitted my visits, and I should be found (how I detest 
setting this down) at once worthy, and likely to make my 
way in the world, which he thought far from improbable. 

But this last was told me long afterwards. 

In the mean while, I attached myself more closely to 
Merchant, whom I felt bound in honour to relieve, so far 
as in me lay, seeing that I had been the indirect means of 
his losing a patron. He told me, when I saw him for 
the first time after the scene at Robinson's, that Sinclair, 
as soon as he was able to leave his bed, had left London, 
he believed, for Scotland ; and that he had sent a mes- 
sage to him by Lemery, to the effect that when he returned 
to town he should do himself the pleasure of waiting upon 
him, and of cropping his ears. 

" I laughed at this, and snapped my fingers at Lemery." 
continued Merchant; " not that I am a man of war, not 
that I am a man to cry ha ! ha ! at the thunder of the 
captains and the shouting, but that I estimate threats at 
their real worth, which like promises that carry futurity on 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



315 



their backs, sink under their burden before they reach 
their destination/' 

" And how is the amiable Lemery?" I inquired. 

ee In doleful dump/' returned Merchant ; - s the departure 
of his very good friend, the tide on which he sailed, has 
left him ( high and dry/ as seamen, I believe, say. He 
won't be able to keep his vices alive ; and of all the trials 
that can befall a man, that of being virtuous when he does 
not wish to be so, is the most vexatious and perplexing. 
He accuses me of having been instrumental in taking the 
bread out of several deserving mouths, his own being one ; 
and cannot but wonder how a man of the world, as he 
honours you by proclaiming Richard Savage to be, should 
officiously have intruded himself where he was likely to 
have been pushed through the body. 4 But/ said he, with 
a smirk and a shrug like Bullock, the actor, e Mr. Savage 
is a poet, a very rising genius, Merchant. I assure you 
the distress of his Sir Thomas — what was it called ? 
Bucklesbury, or some such name — affected me greatly. 
A great deal of feeling and human nature in it ; but what 
have we of the world to do with feeling and human nature ? 
Nothing whatever. The worst of poets is, they can't look 
at the affairs of this life with a prose eye.' " 

The sage Lemery was wrong. No class of men more 
than poets have occasion to do so, or more frequently. In 
a short time I had again the prospect of immediate indi- 
gence before me. It has often been observed to me by 
friends, whose prudence was more active, or whose desires 
were more limited than my own, that the allowance made 
to me by Mrs. Oldfield was sufficient to compass a decent 
subsistence. It might have been — I believe it was ; but 
besides that I could never make it accord with my nature 
to spend niggardly what was freely bestowed, I never 
learned the art of starving my own gratification, when 
1 had the means of satisfying it, however those means 
might have been acquired. I never knew the value of 
money, either with or without it. When the pocket was 
empty, it must be recruited; that I knew full well. To 
tell me that a certain sum ought to last a certain time, 
argued a desire in the teller to fit me by his own measure — 



316 



KICHARD SAVAGE. 



not so, by the bye — to restrict me to a sum that he himself 
would have scorned to attempt to live upon ; for I have 
seldom found any of these prudent advisers follow their 
own maxim. Surely he least deserves fortune who least 
trusts her. If I have enjoyed few of her smiles, I have 
at least deserved them, if it be only on the score of my 
mistaken reliance upon her. They were freely bestowed, 
and there was a curve in the corner of the gipsy's mouth 
that seemed to promise future and greater favours. They 
are to come. It is not too late. 

Burridge had relinquished his school, and was settled 
in London for the remainder of his life. I felt a degree 
of awe in the old gentleman's presence (a remnant of the 
school feeling) which I cannot call to mind — if I ever 
experienced it — having been sensible of before any other 
human being. Age had not improved Burridge. There 
is, perhaps, a tendency in every man who, having abjured 
the follies and vices of his youth, re-establishes his fortune 
and his position in the world, by dint of his own exertions, 
to glorify himself and to exalt the merit of his achievement, 
and to feel a corresponding contempt for those who will not, 
and a distrust of those who cannot, have recourse to similar 
methods towards the same end. Burridge had a horror of 
being obliged, or of being thought to be so, to mankind ; 
and he delighted overmuch in vaunting his own indepen- 
dence. Now, although there are many men who love and 
practise independence that are worthy patrons, and as 
many who hate being obliged that can confer great obliga- 
tions, yet these are not the men whom you can readily ask, 
or from whom you can safely receive service or assistance. 
And yet (not knowing, what I now know) I ventured an 
application to Burridge. He did, and hardly did, as much 
as I requested, and with a very bad grace ; and with an 
intimation, moreover, that this his first favour was to be 
his last. This conduct shocked and somewhat incensed me. 

cc Not that I designed to request a like favour again, or 
often from you," said I, almost resentfully; " but be- 
cause you suppose I shall do so, it is, that I beg you to 
take back the sum you have placed in my hand. I will 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



317 



not accept it. Trust me, Mr. Burridge, you have not 
spoken well or handsomely." 

<c Ah well !" said he, ee it is my way, and I can't help 
it. I shan't take it back. You want it, or you had not 
asked for it. What I said, was said out of kindness — out 
of friendship. Trust me, Dick — the man who is often be- 
holden to his friends, is oftener in need than he who earns 
his guinea a week. I want to see you above being obliged 
to such an old curmudgeon as Francis Burridge. He is 
no better than his neighbours, after all ; and will be telling 
his good deeds, like the rest/' 

I was a little softened — "You will not do so, lam 
sure, sir." 

u Don't be too sure," he replied, hastily, (c I am not. 
It is true, he who proclaims his benevolence, cancels the 
obligation incurred by it ; but don't you see that were I to 
act so by you, you would feel yourself my debtor ; and it 
is a cursed feeling to owe money to a man whom you de- 
spise and whom you cannot pay. Out upon it ! live, and 
get the means whereby you live, and save wherewithal to 
support you, when the hands and the head can do no more 
work. Look at Steele, now : Sir Richard, an empty title, 
that ; much good may it do him ! It has done him none 
hitherto. There is a man of parts — of genius! What 
opportunities have looked that man in the face, desiring 
him to lay hold upon 'em ; but he has turned his back 
upon 'em all. Why, he tells me he's going to retire to Wales, 
when he gets his affairs settled ; and I doubt, cheap as the 
living is there, whether he'll have enough to live upon. 
Now, I have a leg of mutton for life, and pudding at the 
other end of the table, and a bottle of wine in the cellar." 

Burridge then fell to advising, and the utterance of 
common-places. Leg-of-mutton and pudding exhortations, 
that, if followed, might enable a man to get a bottle of 
wine into his cellar, but would probably induce him to 
keep it there. I hate, as I always did hate, these vocal 
exercitations, which mean nothing more than that the per- 
former is excessively pleased with himself and his doings. 
To say the truth, all advice, well-meant or otherwise, par- 
ticularly the former, is loathsome to me. I myself never 



318 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



advise anybody, except not to take advice. Perhaps I shall 
utter something more true than new, when I say that ad- 
vice is like physic ; nobody cares to take it ; nobody takes 
half that is prescribed ; and not half that is taken does a 
man any good. 

Henceforth I saw Bur ridge but seldom. Let me be 
just to him. He loved me, and if advice could have done 
it, would have served me ; but I am not sure if, impatient 
of my obstinacy in declining to follow his directions, he 
did not as obstinately enforce them. O man, what a good 
fellow thou mightst be made, if thou didst not already 
think thyself so very good ! Pity so little virtue should 
be too much for us ; but a great deal would not be too 
much, if we could only learn to keep our plaguy mouths 
shut. 

I believe I have incidentally informed the reader that I 
was acquainted with Aaron Hill the poet and projector — 
happier as the former than the latter, since I believe his 
projects have almost as much depressed his fortune, as his 
poetry has raised his fame. The modesty of this gentle- 
man is, if possible, greater than his merit ; and if at any 
time he feels, or has ever felt, a reluctance to undertake a 
good action, it is because he shrinks from an acceptance of 
the gratitude that is called forth by it. 

Aaron Hill had shown his kindness towards me by sup- 
plying a prologue and epilogue for my Overhury ; but he 
had previously evinced his magnanimity by permitting me 
to reject the alterations he had, at my own instance, con- 
descended to make in it — a magnanimity the more conspi- 
cuous, when it is remembered that clumsy Colley was per- 
mitted afterwards to lick the kid into the shape of one of 
his own cubs. 

A man of merit in letters, or a man whom he supposed 
to be so, was ever certain of Hill's countenance and sup- 
port. Upon being made acquainted with the state of my 
affairs, he warmly and zealously plunged into a consider- 
ation of the best means of altering it. What was I. or 
rather, what was he to do ? what was to be done ? His 
brain was at all times teeming with projects, as much for 
the benefit of others, as for his own; and a project speedily 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



suggested itself to him so strange — so attractive in pur- 
pose, but so repulsive in plan, that it fairly staggered me. 
He was at that time one of the conductors of a weekly 
work, called The Plain Dealer, the sale of which was not 
so extensive as it was select. He suggested to me to issue 
proposals of subscription to a volume of Miscellanies ; and 
himself offered to prepare an account of my birth, parent- 
age, and education, to be published in The Plain Dealer, 
which he doubted not would interest the tow T n in my be- 
half, and make them willing to show their sense of my 
misfortunes by subscribing to my book. 

I hesitated a long time before I would consent to this. 
It is true, I longed to tell the world in print how I had 
been treated by Mrs. Brett : so much so, indeed, that I 
was loth that to any one else should be confided the tell- 
ing ; least of all was I desirous that Hill should be that 
man. Hill had too little of the devil in him, to shame or 
to shake so prevailing a fury as this. While he sympa- 
thised with my wrongs, and (I believe he spoke the truth 
when he averred it) almost felt them as his own — yet his 
expression of them would be his own — not mine. He 
could not feel as I felt. His heat would be that of a 
generous domestic man, seated by his comfortable fire, 
stirring it, probably, oftener and with better effect than his 
own bosom would be stirred ; — mine was the fervour of a 
fiend, as poignant, if not so wicked, as the one I had to 
deal with, ministering at a volcano. 

I did not tell him this, but pleading my pride, which 
would not permit me to publish my misfortunes so abjectly 
to the world, with many acknowledgments, declined his 
offer. He expostulated with me — urging, that when a 
man's poverty was not the consequence of his own crimes 
or indiscretion, there could be no disgrace in his avowing 
it, or degradation in craving assistance to enable him to 
extricate himself from it. He added, that when a man 
suffered himself to linger in a state of wretchedness, the 
world were almost justified in attributing his obstinate im- 
mobility rather to shame than to pride — in thinking that 
he deserved to sink without help, not that he disdained to 
rise with it. Furthermore, he reminded me that I was 



320 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



not asking charity ; but soliciting a subscription to a book ; 
and since each subscriber would have value for his money, 
I need not consider myself as a man under an obligation 
of gratitude ; but simply as one who has availed himself 
of a very fair and candid expedient to make his wants 
publicly known, and who is very much obliged to those 
who choose to assist him in surmounting them. 

It is possible that had I possessed as much faith in the 
success of this measure as Hill undoubtedly felt, I might 
with less reluctance have given my consent to it, which, at 
length, I did with so bad a grace as must have disgusted a 
man less generous and disinterested than my friend. As 
I foresaw, so it was. Hill's statement, although full cf 
warm and manly resentment of my mother's barbarity, was 
mixed up with so much piteous and mawkish commi- 
seration of myself, that I was thoroughly ashamed to show 
my face in any of the coffee houses for some days after its 
publication. In addition to his statement, he had supplied 
a copy of verses purporting to have been written by the 
meritorious applicant for subscriptions, so woe-begone, so 
wretched, so puling ! They were verses to set a mas 
thinking to what a depth of pusillanimous abjectness the 
wretch could be reduced who could write and print them. 
And it was stated that they were mine. My wig suffered 
for them, when I had read them, and my finger-nails, 
which I knawed to the quick. How she must have laughed 
at — scorned — jeered me ! 

Betwixt an uneasy (uneasy because it was a perfect) 
consciousness of the sincere friendship of Hill, and a dis- 
gust at the manner in which he had pleased to display it. 
I found myself in a state of the most perplexing irresolu- 
tion as to what course I should pursue. At length, per- 
ceiving that my acquaintance could look upon me without 
a laugh or a sneer, and that many of them appeared to 
interest themselves in the success of my proposals, I ven- 
tured upon a visit to the 44 Plain Dealer," who received me 
with extended arms. 

He listened to my remonstrances with that amiable and 
supreme smile common to projectors, nodding his head as 
I proceeded, as though he knew not only what I had said. 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



321 



was sayings and was proceeding to say ; but also as though 
he was aware, indeed, how little sense and wisdom found 
its way into some skulls, and how much was safely housed 
in others. 

" Have you been to Button's?" said he, when I had 
concluded; ei there, you know, we have advertised that sub- 
scriptions are received/' 

e: I have not." 

" Why not?" he returned, with raised brows, but 
with a kind of prim composure. 

u To say the truth, Hill, I can't face the drawer. The 
fellow would burst in my face." 

" Really, Savage," said he, " you have as poor an opi- 
nion of your own merit, as you appear to have of my 
testimony to it. Go thither, I entreat ; or I will. I 
shall be greatly mistaken if you do not find it worth your 
while." 

Hill was right. He had baited his hook with a worm, 
and the fish caught at it ; shall I add, and were caught? 
The reader may, if he please. What was my amazed 
delight when, calling at Button's, I found that more than 
seventy guineas had been left for me at the bar ! What 
was my exultation of triumph, when, running my eye over 
the list of subscribers, I perceived that it chiefly consisted 
of the names of the nobility ! 

This was beyond expectation — above my hopes. What 
of subterfuge now was left to Mrs. Brett ? How hence- 
forth could she evade — evade she might — but how could 
she deny the reality of my claims ? I had the satisfaction 
of hearing, from many quarters, that she was greatly dis- 
concerted by this exposure ; and although she persisted in 
her old story, that I was the son of a poor couple to whom 
her own child had been entrusted, which child had died in 
its infancy, yet, whereas she had formerly been under the 
necessity of telling this falsehood to a few who believed 
her, she was now compelled to relate it everywhere, and to 
be believed by none. 

Old Burridge urged moderation — exhorted charity — 
whispered forbearance. Pshaw ! could he judge of my 
fever by feeling his own pulse? I had my mother at a 

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RICHARD SAVAGE. 



disadvantage, and I was resolved, if possible, to keep her 
so. I had been too long moderate, charitable and for- 
bearing, and what had I gained by being so ? 

I hurried the Miscellanies through the press, and ushered 
them into the world with a preface. I think it was suffi- 
ciently apparent in this production that, although Hill 
was acquainted with every particular of my history, and 
had correctly related it in the Plain Dealer, yet that I had 
not been consulted as to the manner or the spirit in which 
it was presented to the public. Elevated by my recent 
good fortune, I executed this short performance with a 
mischievous and a devilish humour, which is, I suspect, 
nowhere apparent in my present narrative. 

But, whatever might be said of this preface, considered 
as a satirical and humorous composition, I admit that it 
was written in the vilest taste. The" man can claim little 
sympathy for his misfortunes, who is the first, himself, to 
jest at them ; and it may fairly be inferred of him who 
exhibits no sense of his own wrongs, except that which 
prompts resentment against the author of them, that he 
will be equally callous to the wrongs of his species. But 
the world in general is not a very reason-seeking world, 
and it was not my purpose to excite sympathy They 
applauded my spirit, and my wit, and took part against 
my mother — which was all I cared for. 

The Earl of Tyrconnel, a nephew of Mrs. Brett, ex- 
pressed a desire, shortly after the publication of the Mis- 
cellanies, to know me. I was introduced to him at Will's. 
He saluted me with great politeness, passing many flat- 
tering encomiums upon my abilities. 

M Mr. Savage," he said in a very friendly manner 
before I left him, " I have long deplored the unnatural 
quarrel between Mrs. Brett and yourself. Forgive me for 
taking the liberty of remarking, that, however I may 
admire the vigorous sallies and sprightly humour of your 
preface, I cannot but lament that you penned it, or con- 
sented to print it." 

Ci Your lordship," said I, in the utmost good humour, 
however, " directs your lamentations to the wrong person. 
You should lament my mother's wickedness before you 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



323 



blame my resentment of it. To submit to oppression is 
to deserve it. I was not made in the mould of Hamlet's 
Horatio, 

" As one, in suffering all, who suffers nothing." 

" Nay, you would have us believe you are/' he returned, 
laughing. " But, seriously, no man condemns your 
mother more than I do, and have done. Don't you per- 
ceive, however, that having made the town a party to your 
quarrel, there is no hope of a future accommodation ? " 

{£ There is no hope, where there is no inclination, my 
Lord/' I replied, " and that, neither of us, I believe, it 
likely to feel. The town will have forgotten us both, 
before we are disposed to forgive each other." 

He said little more at this time, but took many sub- 
sequent opportunities of assuring me how happy he should 
be to serve me in any way — hinted his intimacy with the 
minister, and at length gave me strong hopes of being 
able to obtain for me a lucrative appointment. 

I was very much obliged to him. 

I shall have more to speak of Lord Tyrconnel, and 
more at large ere long. I dismiss him, therefore, for the 
present. 

The death of George the First furnished occasion to the 
poets of raising a monument of verse to his memory. I 
brought my stone to it, and it was a heavy one. A stone I 
had some difficulty in carrying, and which I was heartily 
glad to " get shot of," as Mrs. Short would have said. I 
should not have mentioned these verses at all — for I am 
duly ashamed of them, in spite of the assurances of my 
friends at the time that I had borne away the palm from 
my competitors, whose friends severally told them doubt- 
less the same thing — but that they obtained for rne an 
invitation to the house of the Countess of Hertford, a 
lady who loved kings and queens, whether dead or living; 
— the living, perhaps, better than the dead ; and who, 
accordingly, was disposed to a favourable opinion of the 
man who could celebrate them. 

I soon discovered that her ladyship was acquainted with 
the attachment subsisting between Elizabeth and myself, and 
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324 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



that she approved it. On my taking leave, she pressed me 
warmly to repeat my visits, an encouragement of which I 
availed myself. Confiding in the promises of Lord Tyr- 
connel ; but assured at all events that a man of my capa- 
city and pretensions (was there ever a young man that was 
not a greater ass than he looked ?) — assured, I say, that a 
man of my pretensions need never wait long for an ho- 
nourable and profitable employment, I expatiated to Eliza- 
beth upon the prospects before me — before us, and filled 
the dear girl's heart with hopes as strong as, and more 
trusting, than my own. Lady Hertford counselled pru- 
dence and circumspection, and fortified her reasonings with 
es modern instances" of young couples — a gloomy and 
spirit-harrowing series they were — who had begun well, 
gone on languishingly (some, by-the-by, hap-hazard), and 
ended most w r ofully. 

Elizabeth would tremble and turn pale when she heard 
these dirge-like warnings, and would turn towards me with 
asking eyes, to be re-assured. A glance of mine comforted 
her. At present, however, we could not be imprudent, if 
we would. 

Blest with the love of this sweet young creature ; — my 
best friend about to attain that felicity which I hoped 
would ere long be mine — (for Myte had at length con- 
sented to Gregory's marrying his daughter) — my prospects 
opening before me, or about to open — my reputation with 
the world on the increase ; full of life, youth, vivacity, 
vigour of the mind and of the body 

I pause ; but not out of fear to proceed. No remorse 
or shame is mine. But things acted or suffered, that sink 
deep into the heart, although the deeper they sink, the 
surer are they when memory would review them. Yet it 
demands time to recall them — to lift them up out of 
their place — their hole. I will give to-night to this 
work. 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



325 



CHAPTER II. 

WHEREIN THE MOST LAMENTABLE EVENT THAT EVER, BEFELL OUR 
AUTHOR IS DESCRIBED AT LARGE. 

Having made a rough mental draft of a considerable poem, 
to the completion of which I purposed to devote myself, I 
found it expedient to the due execution of it to retire from 
London. In the quiet and seclusion of the country I 
could pursue my studies without interruption ; or rather 
(for a man may live, if he pleases, as sequestered in Lon- 
don as in a wilderness), withdrawn from the temptation of 
taverns and company, which 1 could never resist on the spot, 
I gave myself a chance of labouring my work successfully, 
so that it might place me in that rank amongst men of 
letters which, I had a/i opinion, my abilities entitled me to 
hold. 

Accordingly, I had taken a lodging at Richmond. 
Doubtful, however, of the stability of the resolution I had 
formed, of abjuring the town for several months, I conti- 
nued to rent my rooms there, which were in Great Queen 
Street, Westminster. A fortnight passed at Richmond 
confirmed me in my virtuous determination ; which the 
gentle reader will not be surprised that I maintained, when 
I inform him that during that period I saw Elizabeth 
Wilfred daily, who was living with the Countess of Hert- 
ford, at her delightful villa on the Thames. 

Prudence, whose persuasions were seldom very pressing 
upon me, induced me to go up to London for the purpose 
of discharging my lodging at Westminster. I had de- 
spatched this business, and was crossing St. James's Park 
on my return to Richmond, when I was met by Gregory 
and Merchant. 

The two laughed heartily at my apparition as I ap- 
proached them. 

" Ho ! ho!" cried Merchant, " how comes it, good 
hermit, that we meet thee so far away from thy cell, and 
in this worldly garb — a laced cravat wh« re the flowing 
y 3 



326 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



beard should be ? Nevertheless, thy blessing, father. Give 
us a root each, pr'ythee, if thou hast any about thee/' 

<e I have the root of all evil — .'*a few guineas/' said I, 
" which I have not come to London to eradicate, I assure 
you. I am returning to Richmond ; " and I told them 
what had brought me to town. 

ce Many a pilgrim who never reached the shrine/' said 
Gregory. " Come, you must spend the day with us. 
Having got you, we don't mean to part with you. More- 
over, to-morrow we will accompany you back to Rich- 
mond." I hesitated. 

iC Don't you know, " urged Merchant, " that in a few 
days Gregory, ' to torturing and tormenting flames must 
render up himself/ at the altar of Hymen : and that mine 
uncle's death enables me to live a little longer without my 
wits ? Let us three make fools of ourselves to-day, be 
wise who will. The louder Folly jingles her bells, the 
more likely is she to wake Wisdom." 

It was to be ; I consented to pass the day with my 
friends. I should return to my studies with a greater zest 
after it. It would establish my good resolutions. A man 
never wants reasons when the pursuit is pleasure. 

We strolled to Chelsea, and having dined there, decided 
that it was impossible we could mend our quarters. The 
wine was good, and the company of each better than the 
wine ; and good company takes small heed of the clock. 
To our surprise it was midnight when we arose to leave. 
The lateness of the hour made me willing to engage a bed 
for the night where we were ; but upon inquiring of the 
drawer, I found that every room was occupied. 

In this emergency, Merchant, who either had drunk 
deeper than Gregory or myself, or upon whom the wine 
had taken more effect, proposed that we should amuse 
ourselves by wandering about the streets all night — an 
amusement that lacked the charm of novelty to me, and 
was by no means new to the proposer, but to which Gre- 
gory readily assented, observing that this was the one of all 
the fooleries of young fellows of which he had never been 
guilty, and that he held, a man should have shone a fool 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



327 



in all the phases of folly before he presumed to marry a 
wife. 

" He needs no such credentials, brother/' cried Mer- 
chant ; (( the man who marries a wife takes the first form as 
a matter of course. Savage, make yourself one, and lead the 
way. Strange, gentlemen, that wine should set a man's 
eyes quarrelling, like man and wife. They won't see to 
each other. Each sets up sight on its own account." 

We sallied into the street ; Merchant, who in his cups, 
was alternately frolicsome and mischievous, bringing up 
the rear, vociferating a song. The wine we had drunk 
had flustered Gregory and myself, and had made us very 
ready to enter upon any new scheme of pleasure that 
might be laid before us ; it had, at the same time, induced 
a sense of our own exceeding wisdom, coolness, and self- 
possession ; a conceit not uncommon with men who can 
see that their companion is in a worse plight than them- 
selves. We resolved to stand by our friend Merchant, 
and take care that he brought himself to no harm ; a reso- 
lution which sober men might have commended, and 
would themselves have followed ; for Merchant, when 
drunk, was a man who required very good friends indeed 
to manage him ; for although sometimes he was perfectly 
good-humoured, and would continue so, yet a trifle would 
make him otherwise, and then there was no vehemence of 
extravagance — no brutality of language or of action — of 
which he would not be guilty, especially towards strangers 
who persisted in taking no heed of him. 

By the time we had reached town our charge became 
excessively violent and troublesome, calling us with many 
scurrilous epithets a couple of poor pitiful rogues, who 
neither had a sense of enjoyment in ourselves, nor a toler- 
ance of those who had. 

(C Come along," he exclaimed, breaking from us ; ce let's 
turn into a night cellar, and see some of our betters whom 
the world can't away with, because they practise the 
world's ways openly, and without grave professions. I 
assert decisively — it is not to be contradicted — that the 
company of thieves is the very best to be met with in 
y 4 



328 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



London. They are at once polite, considerate, and re- 
spectful ; generous to a fault, and for a song ! Gay can't 
write thieves' songs; the man has stolen none of that 
inspiration." 

" Come along, you hlockhead, you," cried Gregory, taking 
him roughly by the shoulder, " thieves are worthy and 
excellent fellows ; but they are, very properly, particular 
as to their company. Plain men like ourselves, who have 
done nothing to entitle ourselves to their good offices, have 
no right to intrude ourselves into their society. No sect 
more jealous and exclusive than that of thieves." 

" You're wrong, Gregory, but being drunk, we must 
not be too critical with you. No men more liberal, or 
who have less of the narrowness of a sect than thieves, 
whom I love as much for that as for their other virtues. 
But, hilloah ! a light in Robinson's coffee-house. Friend 
Gregory " — and he turned about and took him by the coat 
— " this is a house to which Savage and I must insist 
upon introducing you. The worthiest creature keeps it ! 
A woman, sir, who, happily for her, till her time comes, 
has not the remotest conception that there can be the 
slightest distinction between right and wrong, and who, it 
is to be presumed, as frequently practises the one as the 
other, which is as much as can be said of others who draw 
the line strictly, and jump over it to and fro, hither and 
thither, knowingly. You must know her. Here it was, 
sir, that the heroic Savage, his courageous heart thumping 
in his bosom, rescued a young lady, whom it is impossible 
he should ever deserve, out of the hands of a man who 
thought that desert went no way towards gaining a lady's 
favour. Follow me!" and so saying, he rushed up the 
passage with a loud halloo. 

<: Shall we go after him ? " said Gregory. " For my 
part, I'm almost tired of the man, and of myself, for tins 
night. Let us leave him. He is known here, I dare say, 
and will be taken care of." 

" I am not so sure of that," said I ; " the persons they 
do know are those with whom they use the greater liberty. 
No, no, we won't desert him ; he has money about hira, 
so rare a case, that he'll be telling every body he sees of : 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



329 



and before morning, perhaps, may have an opposite story 
to tell." 

To say the truth, although I desired to see Merchant 
safely to his lodgings, the long walk had rendered me 
thirsty, and knowing that the woman of the house had less 
reason to wish to see me than I had to be seen of her, I 
was disposed to enter the house, and to wear away the 
worst hours of the night quietly in the coffee-room . 

Accordingly, I took Gregory's arm, and led him towards 
the house. Merchant had thrust himself into the land- 
lady's room, and when we got into the passage was expos- 
tulating with her. 

ce Mrs. Edersby," said he, " or, I should say, Mistress 
Ancient Iniquity, for to that name art thou thenceforth to 
prick up thy ears, thou who wouldst not do a grain of 
good, though Satan himself, thy master, were to tempt 
thee to do it ; I tell you, my friends here, and I, gentle- 
men of figure, and, what is more to the purpose, with 
purses through which the gold looks clinquant, must have 
a room to ourselves, with fire, with candles, and with 
punch." 

e( I know you very well, Mr. Merchant," said the woman, 
" and how you talk when you're not quite yourself, as you 
may be now. Bid your friends walk this way for a few 
minutes ; the company in the coffee-room will be going 
presently, and then you can have it, nice, all to yourselves, 
and as long as you please." 

" How ! " cried Merchant, seizing a chair, and directing 
a blow at the woman with it, which she evaded with com- 
mendable dexterity, " how's that ? Do you dare to trifle 
with me ? " 

<e This is what it is," cried the woman in a rage, " if 
you come here to make a disturbance, out you shall pack, 
you and your friends, in a twinkling. If you mean to 
act like a gentleman, and want a bowl of punch, wait here 
for five minutes, and the room will be at your service." 

" We wait ! " exclaimed Merchant, reeling out of the 
room, (< while half a dozen fellows club their wretched 
sixpences towards a reckoning which they can't pay. 
They'll sit boggling there all night, thrusting their hands 



330 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



into their pockets, as though they expected to find some- 
thing in 'em. Take the hest wig among 'em in lieu of 
shot, and turn 'em out. Come, let's have a brush at these 
tarriers." 

With that he broke from the woman's hold which she 
had fastened upon his coat, and proceeded hastily to the 
door of the coffee-room, which he threw open with con- 
siderable violence. 

" Go your ways," said Mrs. Edersby, maliciously, <: if 
you don't get your head broken, my head's not on my 
shoulders, that's all. You had best follow your friend, 
gentlemen, and see that no harm comes to him." 

That we were already in motion to do. On entering 
the room, we discovered Merchant standing with his back 
to the fire, which was opposite the door, his arms akimbo, 
which supported the skirts of his coat. His eyes were 
directed obliquely towards a company at the other end of 
the room, and his lips were apart with a smile, disclosing 
his clenched teeth. The whole expression of his coun- 
tenance was that of extreme and provoking contempt for 
the persons at whom he continued to gaze. 

On our first entrance into the room, Gregory and I had 
turned to the left, concluding from the partial darkness in 
that quarter, that that portion of it was unoccupied, as 
indeed was the case. 

c( Come, Merchant," said Gregory, calling to him, when 
we had taken our seats. " Come this way, man. Shall 
we order a bowl of punch ? " 

" Come this way," he returned, beckoning us towards 
him, but still with his impudent stare upon the company, 
" and having seen whom we have got here, order what 
you please : only take care to order some asafoetida along 
with it to purify the room." 

" I suspect Merchant will get his nose slit," whispered 
Gregory to me ; " don't go near him. We can the better 
assist him, if we take no part with him, should he get into 
trouble." 

Moved by curiosity, however (the place, as well as 
Merchant's speech had awakened it), I arose. What was 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



331 



my astonishment when, glancing at the company, I ob- 
served Sinclair and Lemery a portion of it ! 

And here, to make what follows the easier intelligible, I 
must mention, from my after knowledge, of whom the 
party consisted. There were Sinclair and Lemery, and a 
brother of the latter, whose wife, a strong masculine wo- 
man, was seated by the side of Sinclair, and a huge fero- 
cious ruffian, well dressed, however, to whose ill-favoured 
aspect a broken nose added an expression of extreme pug- 
nacity. 

Sinclair recognised me in an instant, and turned pale. 
The colour presently returned to his face, and his eye en- 
countered mine, and returned its wrath boldly. 

<e Mr. Sinclair,'* said Merchant, with a formal bow, 
1 e your most obedient. Mr. Lemery, your servant. Mr. 
Seth Lemery — your's. Madam, (how could I fail so 
egregiously of the polite point ?) your faithful slave. Mr. 
Nuttal, when I next purpose to enjoy the diversions of 
the bear-garden, I shall be happy in your company." 

Having said this, he burst into a loud derisive laugh, 
and tossed his hat into their empty punch- bowl. 

Nuttal sprung out of his chair. 

"By the soul of man, Mr. Sinclair, I don't know why I 
should put up with this fellow's insolence, if you are dis- 
posed to do so. You seem to know the other fellow. 
Who is he ? " 

Ci Get out of the way," cried Gregory, thrusting Mer- 
chant aside, and walking towards the table to Nuttal. 
" Hound ! what do you mean by the other fellow ? This 
gentleman is Mr. Savage, and my friend/' 

M I don't care who he is," returned Nuttal, laying back 
the cuffs of his coat. " You are all disposed for a quarrel, 
I can see. Sinclair, Lemery, Seth — we are enough, I 
should think, to kick these three blackguards out of the 
room ; I've borne with Merchant's insolence before, but he 
shall have it now." 

He was advancing, encouraged by the woman, Mrs. 
Lemery, with " That's right ! that's a brave lad ! kick the 
three rascals out ! — when Gregory fetched him such a 



332 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



blow upon the face with the back of his open hand as for 
the moment staggered him. 

(£ Back, fool ! " cried Gregory. 6C Sinclair, whistle your 
dog off. Dick, keep an eye upon Sinclair, he looks mis- 
chievous. Where's Merchant ? " 

This was no time to satisfy ourselves as to the last 
pointt 

"By the soul of man! sir/' cried Nuttal, drawing, 
" I'll have your heart's blood out of you for that." 
Sinclair's sword also flamed forth. 

ee I am for you, sir," said he to me, " remember ! I owe 
you one. Look to yourself." 

" You lie, Sinclair, you owe me two. You have most 
need of caution. Look to yourself." My sword was out. 

At this juncture, the brothers Lemery and the wife re- 
treated into a corner of the room, setting up loud cries of 
" Murder ! " cries that were taken up by Mrs. Edersby, 
the landlady, and another woman outside. A trampling 
over head — a hurrying along passages — a whirl of uproar 
and confusion. 

Gregory swore a great oath. 

" D — n you all ; I'll have your swords. Give up your 
sword, you ugly face-making rascal," to Nuttal, " unless 
you wish to be laid by the heels in Bridewell." 

" When it has done its work, not before," cried the 
fellow,* flourishing his rapier like a broadsword. " I shall 
be through you, my gentleman, if you don't make haste to 
lug out." 

In the mean time Sinclair had come from behind the 
table, and had advanced upon me. 

" Base-born impostor," he said, running his sword along 
mine, (he was a skilful fencer, but knew not that I also 
was master of my weapon), — " base-born impostor, I have 
you now." 

" Well-born blockhead, you shall have. Ha ! ha ! sir ! " 

Three or four men ran into the room at this instant. 

" Swords out ! " cried one ; " playing at gentlemen, eh ? 
Don't part 'em; fair play's a jewel, say I. The tall one, 
with his sword broken, '11 strangle old broken nose. Vm 
thinking. Go it — give it him." 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



333 



Sinclair had made several passes at me, which I par- 
ried ; hut out of no design, I confess it, of acting merely 
upon the defensive. It was sport to dally with him 
awhile. At length he made a desperate push at me, which 
I put aside so smartly, as caused him to swing round. 
Gregory, at that moment, rushing forward upon Nuttal, 
drove Sinclair's sword entirely from its guard. But before 
this, if it can be said to be before — the two actions being 
almost instantaneous — I had run him into the body. 

Then arose such a hubbub — such a hellish noise, be- 
fore, beside, behind, around, as it is as impossible to 
describe as it was terrible to hear, even to those who con- 
tributed to it. Be sure I was not one of these. Trans- 
fixed with horror, remorse, pity, I was (i grown cool too 
late." That face — malicious, revengeful, grinning like a 
wild cat, the eyes a-start — life looking blood and death 
— in a moment — in a glimpse of time, as it were — how 
changed ! ec Oh ! " from the very depth of the bosom — 
that one word told me, and all that heard it — and who, 
spite of the cursed clamour, that did not hear it ? — that 
he had got his death. The muscles of the face relaxed, 
and of the body ; the jaw fell, the darkening lids sank 
upon the eyes, the stony whiteness overspread the face and 
lips — he fell upon the floor as only a dying man can fall. 

Mrs. Lemery was the first to run towards him. iC The 
dear Sinclair is killed — murdered ! " she shrieked, tearing 
off her head-dress, and falling upon her knees by his side. 
" Mrs. Edersby ! Mrs. Edersby !— Mrs. Rock ! Mrs. Rock ! 
why don't you all get from him ? — let him have air." 

ec My house will be ruined ! — oh Lord ! — oh Lord ! " 
cried Mrs. Edersby, wringing her hands. ce Mrs. R,ock, 
go to the gentleman ! — you have better courage than I, 
and have been used to these things." 

" No blood flows," said Mrs, Lemery. " Dear Sin- 
clair ! — Sinclair ! I say — speak — only speak to poor 
Harriet." 

" Does no blood flow ? " said the woman who was called 
Mrs. Rock ; " let me come to him," pushing her way 
through the crowd. 

In a moment she was by his side, and had torn open 



334 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



his dress. She examined the wound. "Oh, my good 
God ! but I know it's of no use." At these words she 
stooped her head, and applying her lips to the wound, at- 
tempted to draw it, but, as it seemed, in vain. i( No 
blood will come," she said, at length. " Why don't some 
one run for the doctor ? Edersby, get some of the men 
to help Mr. Sinclair to bed. Run for the doctor — you !" 
to Gregory. 

He did not move. For the first time, since swords had 
been drawn, I saw him ; he was deadly pale. 

" A bad night's business, Savage,'' said he. "Let us 
hope we may get fairly through it ; — fairly — for these 
devils and that fellow, whom I've pretty well pummelled, " 
pointing to Nuttal, who was clearing the blood from his 
swollen face, " will swear hard against us." 

" Which is the fellow that first began the quarrel ?" 
cried Mrs. Rock. 

" It was Mr. Merchant," said Lemery; "he ran out of 
the room when he saw the swords out." 

A gentleman ran against us in the passage, as we came 
in," said one of the men ; " but this shorter gentleman in 
black," pointing to me, " was the person who stabbed Mr. 
Sinclair." 

Mrs. Rock turned her face towards me, and saw me. 
The head of Sinclair dropped from between her hands, 
which she smote together in triumph : — " D — n you !" 
she exclaimed, rising, " you know me, and I you." 

Mrs. Ludlow ! The wretch I had not seen for years, 
and whom I had imagined howling for her filthy sins long 
ago. A cold sweat came upon me when I beheld her, and 
my knees knocked together. The avenging fury ! sub- 
lime she almost seemed, as she arose from the floor, like 
a she-fiend conjured out of hell to drag me thither ! 

She flew upon me, and endeavoured to pull me to the 
ground. " I'll hold him fast, he shan't escape ! " with awful 
oaths, such only as her tribe are accustomed to utter. 
" Watch ! watch — run for the watch, good people ! — 
Murder ! murder ! murder ! " 

"Murder! — murder!" was echoed on every side, the 
women's voices prevalent over all, making a mad and 
hideous uproar. 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



335 



What was I to do with the tenacious, clinging, strenuous 
creature, blinking and mouthing, her cursed face pushed 
close into mine ? I knew not what I did. I threw out 
one spread hand, and caught her by the throat, and cutting 
her on the head with my sword, flung her, like a loath- 
some reptile, from me. 

The yells redoubled. ec Fly for your life," cried two 
of the men, seizing me by the arms, and pushing me 
towards the door. " Never mind your hat and wig. 
They've gone for the watch by the back way. You've 
done Mother Rock's business/' 

" Where's Gregory ? — Gregory ! " 

ee Never mind him — look to yourself. He's all safe. 
He didn't stab the man. Away with you ;" and they 
thrust me from the door. 

Seized with panic, for I feared I had killed Mrs. Lud- 
low also, I ran down the long passage, and out of the place, 
and crossing the Strand, fled up a court. All was dark- 
ness there ; that was well — not so, however, when I dis- 
covered that there was no outlet at the further end. 

" Hist ! Savage, is that you ? " whispered a voice close 
at my ear. 

I started round suddenly. 

" It's only I — Good God of heaven ! what ! It's Mer- 
chant." 

It was well for him that he had disclosed himself ; such 
was the tumult of my spirits, I had run him through the 
body else. 

Ci Heavenly Father ! what's the matter ? — how you 
tremble ! " He trembled as violently while he spoke. 
(C What have you done ? " 

« Killed Sinclair." 

i( Good Heaven ! — they'll take us — they'll take us ; 
We shall all be hanged. Oh ! how came you to do it ? " 

I pushed him away. " They're coming ! we can't 
escape." 

There was, indeed, a terrific hubbub in the street ; men 
calling, rattles springing, cries of murder, windows thrown 
up, doors unlocking and unbolting in the very court. 

I hastened down it, followed by Merchant clinging to 



336 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



me, and entreating me to bear witness that he had nothing 
to do with the quarrel. 

We ran back again, Merchant with a loud cry of terror. 
We had been seen by the watch, who, accompanied by 
several soldiers, pursued us and made us their prisoners. 

They dragged us into the street, where we beheld ano- 
ther body of the watch, with Gregory fast secured 
amongst them — pale, indeed, but perfectly calm and col- 
lected. His presence and example re-assured me, but 
had no effect upon Merchant, who whined most pitifully, 
calling all the powers to witness that he had left the coffee- 
house long before the quarrel began. 

The evidence of the Lemerys, and of Nuttal, which 
they loudly tendered, was not needed to prove the contrary. 

We were forthwith conveyed — preceded and followed, 
and flanked on either side by a multitude of execrating 
ruffians, to the Gate-house in Westminster, where we 
were ushered into the presence of the constable of the 
night, who, having taken down the charge against us, con- 
signed us to several cells in a small paved yard. 

" God bless you, old friend!" said Gregory to me, press- 
ing my hand earnestly, before they separated us — "a 
dreadful thing ; but we must go through it like brave 
fellows. You will, I know. That cur — Merchant !" 

And here I shall be very brief. On the next morning, 
hand- cuffed, and strongly guarded, w T e were taken before 
three justices, w T ho heard the evidence that Nuttal, the 
Lemerys, and Mrs. Edersby had to offer, in which 1 could 
not but observe a slight discrepance, which evinced that 
they had not, as yet, laid their heads together to be in one 
story, or that they were not yet so perfect in their parts as 
to be able to make it cohere so exactly as the lover of strict 
and consentaneous evidence might approve. Mrs. Ludlow 
was not in a fit state, at present, to appear ; but the wound 
on her head was not dangerous, and it had been dressed ; 
and there was every probability that on the morrow she 
would be forthcoming. 

In answer to a question from one of the justices, Mrs. 
Edersby stated that Sinclair was not yet dead, but that the 
doctor held out no hope of his recovery. 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



337 



Having heard all that could be urged against us, the 
justices remanded us till the following morning, and we 
were taken back to the Gate-house ; and in the evening 
were told by the constable, who had charge of us, that 
Sinclair was dead. 

On our re-examination, Mrs. Ludlow and the doctor 
were present. If the several statements of Nuttal and the 
rest, on the previous day, did not hang together on parallel 
lines, still less did the evidence eagerly furnished by 
Mrs. Ludlow — Mrs. Rock, as she was called — agree with 
theirs. Her story was, however, rendered plausible by 
what was elicited from the doctor on his examination. 

He said that, finding there was not the slightest hope of 
saving Mr. Sinclair, he had considered it as a duty on his 
part to tell him so, and to remind him that, if he had any- 
thing to say touching the quarrel, it was his duty to say it 
at once. The doctor repeated, that he had warned Sinclair 
that he was a dying man, and had adjured him, as one 
who was about to meet his Maker, to state the whole 
truth, and nothing but the truth. He had taken down 
his words. 

Sinclair, it seems, related pretty exactly the conduct of 
Merchant which had led to the quarrel ; but he asserted 
that Gregory and I had encouraged him in it — that I 
was the first to draw, and that while Gregory was engaged 
with Nuttal I had rushed upon him (Sinclair) unawares, 
and before his sword was well out of his sheath had 
stabbed him. He added, that no amount of provocation 
would have induced him to use his sword in a tavern 
brawl, except absolutely compelled in self-defence to do so. 

In partial confirmation of the solemn asseveration of the 
dying man, the doctor said that, in his opinion and to the 
best of his judgment, no man could have received such a 
wound (and he described it) as had caused the death of 
Sinclair, when he stood in a posture of self-defence, unless 
he had been a left-handed man. 

Upon this evidence we were committed to Newgate, 
whither we were forthwith conveyed. 



•L 



238 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



CHAPTER III. 

IN WHICH THE HERO OF THIS HISTORY, AND HIS TWO COMPANIONS, 
HOLD UP THEIR HANDS AT THE OLD BAILEY J AND WHEREIN IT 
WILL EE SEEN THAT ALL CRIMINALS ARE NOT PRISONERS IN 
NEWGATE. 

Hope, thou golden-winged angel ! whether laid by with 
thieves and outcasts among the ashes of a glass-house — 
stretched on a bulk by a beggar's side — seated familiarly 
on a bench, cheek by jowl with a branded ruffian, or soli- 
tary and fettered in the murderer's cell — still never didst 
thou desert me ! Thy wings winnowed the noisome air — 
thy charming hand smote softness into the stony pallet — 
thy whispering voice spoke comfort to a heart that, sus- 
tained by thee, cared not if the stone were very stone — 
hewn out of Prometheus' rock. 

When we were first taken to the Gate-house, and con- 
signed to our several cells, such was the disturbance in my 
mind, such the confusion of the past scene within it, that 
there was no room for the entertainment of hope, or for 
the admittance of fear. 

The paved yard was set round with similar cells. Of 
these all, or nearly all, were occupied ; some by fellows 
who clamorously complained against the abuse of power 
that had placed them there ; others by penitent or fear- 
begnawn rogues, who as loudly lamented their unhappy 
condition; others by gentlemen who had met Justice face 
to face so often, or who had so little care about seeing her, 
that they wore out the time till she held her levee, with 
merry songs and catches. 

Even amid this association of discordant noises I slept 
soundly — a sleep, however, worse than wakeful thoughts 
had been. The shrieking Ludlow, alive and mad again — 
the wildly laughing Mrs, Brett — the accursed and cursing 
Mrs. Rock — Sinclair, stony-eyed, with a face of stone — 
not falling, lapsing — disjointed, as it were, to the floor — 
these sounds and sights ran through my ears, grow apofi 
my eyes, till silence waked me ; and the grey, sullen, heavy 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



339 



morning looked through the small aperture in the door of 
my cell, and bade me arise, chilled, and with a conscious- 
ness that stayed my blood in its current. What a relief to 
be dragged (as we were, with great rudeness and unnecessary 
violence) before the three justices, who heard the charge 
against us with a solemn indifference of mien that greatly 
fortified the courage of Merchant, who listened to the sug- 
gestions of hope as readily as he obeyed the impulse of 
fear, and who mistook the composure of the justices, which 
was the result of a long-accustomed intimacy with similar 
cases, for a belief on their parts that our particular case 
was no more than an ordinary tavern brawl, which would 
be visited with a light and transient punishment 

Before we were remanded, Gregory solicited and obtained 
leave to send to an attorney, a friend of his father. On 
the arrival of this gentleman at the Gate-house, we laid 
our case fully before him, and craved his professional ad- 
vice and assistance. He did not appear to consider it as a 
very grave legal offence ; on the contrary, he bade us be of 
good cheer, telling us there was nothing in the evidence 
(an opinion in which he persisted after we were committed 
to Newgate) that would warrant a grand jury in finding a 
true bill against us for murder. He reminded us of Major 
Oneby's case, which had been tried a year and a half before, 
and which was of a much more aggravated description 
than ours ; yet such was the doubt in the minds of the 
jury, as to the proof of malice, (although malice had been 
demonstrated to a moral certainty,) that a special verdict 
was agreed to, on an elaborate argument upon which, and 
a laboured decision by all the judges, the Major, after the 
interval of a year, was at length convicted. 

Merchant shuddered when he heard the Major cited. 
(e He was convicted at last, Mr. French, that's small con- 
solation. I remember he destroyed himself to escape 
hanging," looking at us piteously, " he bled to death after 
cutting the main artery of his arm. How much better 
that is than hanging, it were hard to determine." 

" I cited Oneby's case," said French, " that you might 
perceive how loth juries are to convict in cases of this 
z 2 



40 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



description. The case of you three gentlemen is of a very 
mitigated character/' 

He presently left us to seek out the men who had wit- 
nessed the affray, and to rake up such evidence against the 
characters of Nuttal, Mrs. Edersby, and the rest, as would 
weaken the effect of their testimony against us. He pro- 
mised, at the same time, to break the particulars of the 
calamity that had befallen him, to Gregory's father, and to 
his intended father-in-law, Mr. Myte, who, Gregory as- 
sured himself, would set his wits to work, and his legs in 
motion to serve us by every means in his power. 

We were very tenderly removed to Newgate by the con- 
stables, who, before our examination, and up to its con- 
clusion, had treated us with great rigour, and who demanded 
a gratuity from us, on the plea of a gentle execution of 
their office ; c: considering," as they said, " that they did 
not know but that we were common bloods and bullies. 
They knew the difference, they hoped, between gentlemen 
who happened to kill a gentleman in a fair way, and such 
sneaking cowardly rogues as those ; and they wished us 
well through it with all their hearts. They loved gentle- 
men of spirit and fire." 

At Newgate a more humane treatment awaited us. We 
were placed apart from the common criminals, and confined 
in the press yard with others in like circumstances to our- 
selves, that is to say, with persons who had not yet stood 
their trial. With these, Merchant soon made himself 
familiar ; and speedily attained to a confident assurance, 
that whatever fate might await Gregory and myself, he, at 
all events, would not participate in it. Not the least disgust- 
ing part of his conduct was the frequent reference he 
made to the unhappy event that had brought us here, and 
the consolation he drew from the circumstance of his 
having no sword upon the occasion, and from his cowardly 
withdrawal of himself before swords were crossed. 

In the meantime, Mr. French visited us, and let us 
know that the coroner's jury had brought in a verdict of 
manslaughter against us; and this, after hearing the wit- 
nesses, who had made a much worse case than they had 
presented to the justices. He argued from thence that the 
grand jury could not find a true bill against us for murder. 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



341 



But French was altogether mistaken; for they not only 
did find a true bill against Gregory and me, but against 
Merchant, also, to whom the attorney, on his credit as a 
lawyer, had promised a speedy discharge. French, at the 
same time, informed Gregory that his father, petrified 
with horror, when the calamity which had befallen his son 
was first made known to him, had afterwards flown into a 
tumult of rage, declaring that he might rot in a jail, or 
perish at Tyburn before he would lift a ringer or lay out a 
shilling on his behalf; and that Mr. Myte, when the 
lawyer acquainted him with the business that had brought 
him to the little man, had made as though he would run 
out of the room ; but presently returning said, with up- 
raised hands and eyes upon the ceiling, " What an escape 
for my girl ! She might have been a hempen widow. 
Oh Lord ! oh Lord ! No, sir," addressing French, " no 
man can be more grieved than I am at the misfortune that 
has fallen upon Mr. Gregory and Mr. Savage, — but Lord 
bless you, sir, they're not of my stock. What can 1 do 
for them ? What says old Greg ? " French told him. 

" There's an unnatural old rogue ? " cried Myte, " he 
thinks that fatherly severity now, I warrant him. Urge 
him to fly to his son, sir ; but as for me ! What a look 
would it have, were I to move in the business — to go and 
see these poor dear young fools, to say a word, even, in 
their favour. 6 There's Daniel Myte applauds brawlers 
and murderers ; I always thought he loved fellows who 
could tilt with the rapier. He has a blood-thirsty look, 
now I come to think upon it/ That would be the cry of 
the throat-lifters. No. I thank you, good Mr. French. 
My service to the young fellows — I wish 'em well ; but I 
can't part with my character, bad as it is." 

Gregory was greatly distressed by the cold-heartedness 
of Myte. For the anger of his father he was in some 
measure prepared. It was an outbreak, that while it re- 
nounced, disclosed affection ; but that Myte should have re- 
fused to visit us in our affliction — that he should have con- 
tented himself with a matter-of-course wish for our welfare, 
that had already been expressed as warmly and probably 
with as much sincerity by the verv constables of the 
z 3 



342 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



Gate-house, this deeply moved my poor friend, who had a 
warm heart, uninformed, as yet, by adversity, and who did 
not know of what material some hearts that are carried 
about by human beings, are made ; above all, who had, 
with a kind of inverted sagacity, given Myte credit for 
extraordinary humanity, out of a conviction that no man 
without a more than ordinary portion of that quality, and 
with the acuteness and penetration that undoubtedly be- 
longed to Myte, could permit himself to talk so callously 
as he did sometimes, unless it were simply his humour 
to do so. 

" Let us say no more of him," said he ; and, indeed, 
ne naa, exhausted the subject ; " but, O my God ! Dick, 
what most troubles me is the affliction I have brought 
upon my dear girl, which will be increased ten-fold by 
the cruel indifference of her old scoundrel of a father. 
My poor Martha ! " The tears started to his eyes, but 
he brushed them thence hastily. My soul was of sterner 
stuff, or it, too, had melted. I had received a letter 
from Elizabeth on that very day. It spoke of hope — 
it enjoined resignation till the day of trial — it coun- 
selled prayer meanwhile. It told of happier days to come 
— of her assurance of my innocence, and of my con- 
sequent honourable acquittal. It bade me be cheerful 
under my afflictions, and to rely upon her love, which 
would never, in any case, suffer diminution. It was im- 
possible, she said, that any thing could make her love me 
less ; if aught could make her love me more, my misfor- 
tunes alone could do so. She implored me to be calm as 
she was, and to hope as she did. Sweet creature ! who 
was born, surely, to show us what human nature had been, 
if Eve had been untempted, or had withstood temptation. 
And yet the poor artifice of this dear letter ! Hope — hope 
so many times repeated — so fearfully dwelt upon. Calm- 
ness dictated with a shaking hand, and in an almost illegible 
scrawl — the paper blurred and blistered with tears. 

It was this that made me calm, that encouraged hope : 
that which troubled Gregory was my solace. He had gone 
to his death, his heart rent in twain by the thought that he 
left one behind who loved him better than life ; I had died 
happy, to know that I was so greatly beloved. 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



343 



We were surprised, on the following day, by a visit 
from Burridge. He accosted us very gravely. 

ei And so, gentlemen/' said he, ec you have killed, be- 
tween you, your old school-fellow and friend. What may 
a plain man think of this, who never carried a sword bnt 
to use it in self-defence ? Oh, Richard Savage ! Oh, 
Thomas Gregory ! " 

" My dear sir " began Gregory. I stopped him. 

cc Had Sinclair done so, Mr. Burridge/' said I, (C he 
had lived, and might, perhaps, have continued to listen to 
your exhortations with patience, which, I confess, I shall 
hardly do, if you come here to insult without provocation, 
or to condemn without knowledge." 

" Do I deserve this ? " said he, turning to Gregory, 
" you know, I cannot. Mr. Savage, I remember I once 
asked you in jest never to proclaim yourself my pupil — 
I hope you will not give me cause to make that request in 
earnest." 

M In our condition, dear sir," said Gregory, u much may 
be forgiven. We are wrongfully charged with a heinous 
crime ; and when our best friends doubt us, may we not 
stand excused ? " 

c ' Ah, well ! say no more," cried the old man, taking us 
by the hand, "perhaps I was too hasty. The poor lad's 
dreadful death has troubled me, as the death of one of you 
had done. Cannot we sit down here ? I want to talk 
awhile with you. You will now, young men," said he, 
when we had retired to a less crowded part of the yard, 
u have it in your power to separate your real from your 
nominal friends. Minerva is a haunter of prisons ; wis- 
dom is to be found without much seeking here. I am 
very sorry to say that Mr. Myte, whom I have called upon 
on your account, is one of your nominal friends. His 
son-in-law, Mr. Langley, however, is concerned for you, 
and will come to see you. I have a letter for you, Gre- 
gory, from a real friend. Put it up. It may be read at 
any time. You may know what it contains, without look- 
ing into it.'' 

Poor Gregory looked upon the superscription, and 
z 4 



344 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



turned very pale. He pressed the letter to his lips, and 
presently committed it to his bosom. 

" I thought she, at least, would not desert me," he 
murmured. 

<f You thought rightly,'* said Burridge ; " you may be 
pretty certain, lads, that women won't desert you in the 
time of trouble. Men have not yet taught em that base 
trick of theirs. But, come, you must give me, each, a list 
of your friends. We shall need all their best words in 
your favour, for your attorney tells me the rogues will 
swear hard against you." 

He now inquired whether it was chance alone that had 
carried us to Robinson's coffeehouse, " For Lemery, one of 
the fellows, tells me," said he, " that Mr. Merchant knew 
Sinclair had returned from Scotland, and might have 
been pretty certain of lighting upon him at that place. 
Lemery says, he himself informed Merchant that it was 
Sinclair's usual haunt after midnight/' 

Upon hearing this, I beckoned Merchant towards us. 
He acknowledged that he knew Sinclair was in town ; and 
confessed he was aware Robinson's was his common resort. 
He said it was possible he might have taken us there with 
a view of setting us together by the ears ; " For what will 
not drunken men do ? " said he ; but he did not recollect 
whether he had such a design ; u For what do drunken 
men remember ? " Burridge shrugged his shoulders. 
6C Lemery says he means to swear to the truth ; for he has, 
it seems, a great respect for you, Dick. I hope he may 
show some respect to the truth ; but he tells me there is 
one Mrs. Rock who is inveterately malignant against you/' 

" I believe she is, although I never gave her cause to be 
so," said I. " Mrs. Ludlow, sir." Burridge was lost in 
astonishment. His surprise was, if not increased, pro- 
longed, when I related all that had passed between Sinclair 
and me on a former occasion at Robinson's — a recital with 
which I had hitherto forborne to trouble him. 

" It seems," he said, when I had concluded, 6C as though 
that mother of yours were ordained to be directly or in- 
directly an agent in all your misfortunes. Surely now, if 
ever, she will relent. I will wait upon her once more. I 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



345 



had an affection for Brett, and she, I am told, loved him. 
Who knows but this terrible adventure may have softened 
her heart towards you, or that the preservation of her 
ward (Oh, Sinclair ! Sinclair !) may have already done so. 
I cannot believe what you seem to hint, that she was privy 
to the horrible design. " 

" My mother and I are the antipodes of each other," said 
I bitterly. (C When the light shall shine into her bosom 
all will be darkness here/' pointing to my own. " No, sir, 
she will not relent.' ' 

Burridge, however, was of a contrary opinion, and went 
away on his errand of benevolence, promising to see us 
again before the day of trial. 

Whatever hopes we might have entertained of the issue 
of our trial, were well nigh swept away by the intimation 
made to us the day before, that Justice Page was to preside 
at it. This base animal, like Jeffries (for he was a whelp 
of the same kennel), is now beyond the reach of infamy, 
nor can any goads of mine stimulate that hell-hound to a 
louder yelp over his grave than pursued him while living. 
He is dead ; but not with him died, or shall die his shame. 
" JDe mortuis nil nisi bonum" — methinks I hear the 
squeamish canters squeak the wretched maxim — knaves 
who indulge the hope that, when the mattock and spade 
have dug their holes — when their base skulls lie, drawn 
of their iniquity, in the grave — the deeds they shall have 
done, that set their pebble eyes a-sparkle, whilst the widows' 
and the orphans' eyes dropt tears and their hearts blood — 
that made forlorn and bankrupt age to wring its wretched 
hands, whilst their well-pleased paws chafed warmth each 
into the other — their inhuman deeds shall be forgotten. 
O hope indulged in vain ! if, indeed, any knave can be 
fool enough to hope such an exemption. Human justice, 
Christian charity, cannot grant it — or if they could, and 
did, the world's malice would not sanction it. 

Page, like his betters, left his character behind him, 
which was this : — He was a gross, facetious dog, but only 
towards misfortune and misery. The calamitous were sure 
of his scornful jeer, his evil eye, his malignant heart. He 
wielded the law, not as a sword to punish the wicked, but 



346 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



as a dagger to stab the innocent. I will not say that he 
ever relaxed the law to favour the guilty, unless he were 
bribed to do it — but I do not think that even a bribe 
would have withheld him from straining it to convict an 
innocent man. He had his pleasures, forsooth, and studied 
them ; and innocence on the gibbet was a luxury not to be 
resisted. Let no man say, because he knew not Page, 
that this character is overdrawn. But I suppose I must 
do him justice. I have said he loved his pleasures ; and 
I love my own too well not to make due allowance for the 
frailty of others on that score. I believe, in my case, he 
had at once the opportunity of earning a bribe, which was 
a great pleasure, and of gratifying his hatred against an 
innocent man, which was a greater. 

The morning of our trial arrived. We were led into 
the court, guarded by constables. Gregory had maintained 
from the first a decent manliness, which did not now desert 
him. I was firm and composed ; but Merchant was by 
no means present to himself. A more abject spectacle of 
cowardly weakness never held up his head, or attempted 
to do it, at the bar. His appearance excited pity amongst 
the women, of whom there were many, and from the men 
provoked contempt. The court was crowded. 

The indictment was laid against Thomas Gregory, 
Richard Savage, and William Merchant; and in that 
order we were placed at the bar. 

Whilst Merchant's arraignment was proceeding, I had 
leisure to observe the countenance of Sir Arthur Page. I 
thought I could perceive in his devilish face — ut this 
might have been merely prejudice — that he had already 
resolved my destruction. There was, at least, a pleased 
expression in it, that disclosed the delight he took in the 
trial of cases that contained blood in them. I never saw 
such a horrible, leering, vital villain. Had his father made 
him any thing but a lawyer, he had been hanged to a 
certainty. 

The counsellor for the prosecution, who stated his case 
as fairly as a lawyer could — for I defy a lawyer to state 
any case, whether legal or otherwise, quite fairly — having 
closed his speech, Nuttal was called, as the first witness. 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



347 



Mr. Nuttal tendered his evidence with an air of candour 
that recommended him to the attention of the court. He 
detailed the insult that had been offered by Merchant, 
which, he said, I drew on the instant to justify ; that 
Gregory, then, with an oath, drawing, commanded Sinclair 
and himself to give up their swords, which they had not 
unsheathed ; but that when he was about to do so, and, as 
he supposed, Sinclair, Gregory flew upon and would have 
killed him, but that he seized him by the wrist with one 
hand, and snapped his sword in two with the other ; and 
that while the struggle was going on between them, he 
saw me stab Sinclair, who held his point towards the 
ground. 

Lemery and his brother were in one story, which dif- 
fered slightly from NuttaFs evidence. They acknowledged 
that Gregory did not demand the swords till NuttaFs was 
drawn, and that I did not draw until after Sinclair had 
put himself in attitude. They said further, that they did 
not see the wound given. 

Mrs. Seth Lemery, her husband and brother-in-law, 
having seen too little, saw too much. She deposed that 
Gregory struck Sinclair's sword out of his hand, and that 
I stabbed him when he was disarmed. 

I was astonished at hearing the hideous Mrs. Edersby 
speak the truth. She had not witnessed the brawl, she 
said, and therefore did not know by whom the wound had 
been given, She had supposed it must be Merchant, from 
his conduct towards her before the prisoners entered the 
coffee-room, and from his rushing past her in the passage 
immediately after she heard the clashing of swords. She 
had been since informed, however, that Mr. Merchant 
wore no sword on the occasion. 

When Mrs. Rock was put into the witness-box, the 
thronged audience, who had listened to the evidence with 
breathless attention, re-arranged themselves in their seats, 
such, I mean, of them as had obtained a sitting, whilst 
the crowd on the floor of the court, on either side, pressed 
still more anxiously forward. Even Page seemed to 
interest himself in the appearance of this woman. 

Her face was pale to ghastliness, her lips livid, her teeth 



348 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



dull and chalky, her eyes dim, and deep- set in their 
sockets ; but there was a clamorous loudness in her voice, 
and an energy in her gestures when she answered the 
questions that were addressed to her, which accorded so 
strangely with her emaciated face and person as to render 
her a spectacle to shudder at. 

She had once said she would like to see me hanged by 
the neck. I know not whether, on my trial, she remem- 
bered the expression of the wish ; it was too evident that 
the desire was as strong as ever. But poor stupid woman ! 
her hate outleapt her discretion ; or, perhaps, she had done 
better if she had had her malice only to gratify. Her 
perjuries were too gross even for Page, who was lenient 
towards false swearers. She stood convicted, not only out 
of her own mouth, but out of the mouths of her friends 
who had preceded her. Her evidence, which referred 
solely to me (she had not seen the scuffle between Gregory 
and Nuttal) was given, at first, with a loud [confidence — 
ex That was the man that stabbed him, before he had 
drawn his sword," — with a bold finger shot towards me, 
and a shake of the head, as much as to say, " and he 
knows I speak the truth," — and a look towards me at the 
same time that said — " You know I lie, but I'll hang 
you, if I can;" — at first it was all this; but, as she 
proceeded, and became involved in a mesh of contradictory 
statements, — more hopeless of extrication every moment, 
the wretch absolutely was embarrassed — ashamed — con- 
fused ; — the colour vanished from her face, leaving a 
heavy dew upon her forehead; — she clutched the rail or 
she had fallen senseless to the earth, and as she did so, 
cast a glance upon me — even upon me ! — of the most 
abject debasement, of the most deplorable prostration. I 
wish never to see so sickening a sight again. I averted 
my eyes from her, as amid the muttered execrations, scofft 
and jeers of the audience, she left, or was carried out of 
the court. I believe she was helped out. The next and 
last witness against us was the doctor who attended Sin- 
clair in his last moments. I forgot his name, nor is it of 
importance. 

He recapitulated his evidence, given before the justices ; 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 349 

stating that, from the nature of the wound, and from the 
direction the sword had taken, he could not conceive how 
a man, standing upon his defence, could have received such 
an injury, unless he had fenced with the left hand. 

The case for the prosecution heing closed, a moment's 
pause ensued. Gregory nudged me with his elbow. 

u Savage," said he, not looking at me, and in a low 
voice between his set teeth — " there is a woman in a hood 
— a lady, on the other side of the court, has been gazing 
at us — at you more particularly, ever since we stood here. 
Her eyes make me quite sick. Avert your head from her. 
My God ! such an expression ! " 

cc Mrs. Brett, no doubt," said I. " I thought we 
should have her company here." 

ie Gracious Heaven," and he turned very pale, " support 
yourself, my dear fellow," grasping my hand ; " go 
through it like a hero. I pity you." 

I needed not Gregory's pity. Whatever concern I 
might hitherto have felt, and did at that instant feel, at the 
unhappy fate of Sinclair, the knowledge that his friend and 
confederate was by, watching, perhaps heartening, animat- 
ing the base gang in their efforts to destroy me, at once 
dissipated it. She supplied another motive to me to carry 
myself with spirit and dignity. The unfortunate may 
sometimes break down under the sense of their misfor- 
tunes ; but the persecuted are mostly strengthened by the 
oppressor, and do not fall, but are stricken down. 

Gregory was now called upon for his defence. He was 
very brief, giving a plain statement of as much as had 
occurred in the coffee-room, as his active share in the 
quarrel had enabled him to observe. He submitted, that 
testimony so various and in some points so contradictory 
as had been brought against us was not entitled to credit ; 
and that the characters of the men and women who had 
offered it were so infamous, that even had they preserved 
a consistence and integrity of evidence, it would not, or 
ought not, to weigh heavily against us. 

My speech occupied a considerable time. Gregory 
was one of those men, who have an assured notion of 
the mightiness of truth ; who hold that a plain tale stands 



350 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



in need of no laboured arguments to recommend it to the 
apprehensions, or to force its several points into the bosoms 
of unprejudiced men. But, not to urge that men, im- 
mediately they have heard one side of a story, can no 
longer be said to be unprejudiced, I knew full well that 
there is a natural repugnance in the mind of man to the 
reception of truth ; that, whereas falsehood is taken 
greedily, as a child will swallow all manner of trash, 
truth is rejected, as a child sputters and wawls when 
physic is forced upon it. An affirmation suffices for the 
most part to a lie ; a truth must have demonstration. 

Accordingly having made my statements, I examined 
and sifted the evidence that had been tendered against us. 
I laboured, and I believe successfully, to show that, with 
the exception of the doctor's surmise, it was utterly un- 
worthy of a moment's consideration. I explained how it 
came to pass that Sinclair received his wound on the left 
side of the body; by describing how Gregory's arm, 
sweeping in the direction of Nuttal, had caught Sinclair's 
sword-arm, and had swung him half round. But, I pro- 
ceeded to contend that, even if the jury were to believe 
that portion of Nuttal's evidence (which, however, like 
the rest, was false), that asserted that I had stabbed Sin- 
clair when his sword was held towards the ground, I was 
not in reason or justice bound to wait till a lunge was 
made at me, which might incapacitate me from returning 
it, and which had I so waited, and had it taken such an 
effect, would have caused Mr. Sinclair to stand where I 
then stood. 

My speech lasted more than an hour, and was listened 
to by the jury with great attention. Page, who had 
interrupted Gregory two or three times during his short 
speech, did not venture upon the same indecency with 
me. His eyes glistened, however, whilst I was pleading 
my right to have stabbed Sinclair, even though his sword 
had not been raised ; and I was told afterwards by a 
gentleman of eminence as a lawyer, that I acted very 
imprudently in arguing that supposition. He said that 
the jury must inevitably have concluded from it, not- 
withstanding all that I had said previously, and in spite 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



351 



of all the evidence in my favour, that Sinclair had come 
by his death in that manner. 

Merchant, by a motion of the head, intimated that he 
declined saying any thing; indeed, he subsequently in- 
formed me that his tongue was as dry, during the trial, 
as an old shoe, and that he believed, had he attempted to 
utter a word, he should have been choked. 

The three men, who had run into the coffee-room 
during the affray, were then called. Their evidence varied 
but slightly. There was just so much discrepance in it, 
as it was natural to expect, and as was unavoidable, con- 
sidering the hurry and tumult of the whole proceeding ; 
and it supported our defence in all its main particulars. 

It was next shown, on our behalf, that Nuttal was a 
fellow that hung loose upon society, that he was a man 
accustomed to violence and brawls, and that he had been 
heard to threaten that he would " do for us," if we 
escaped Ci this bout/' and he could catch us alone. The 
Lemerys and the wife of Seth were proved to be disre- 
putable creatures — the woman only less infamous than 
Mrs. Rock, and about on a par with Mrs. Edersby, by 
whom, it appeared, both were supported, although on 
a different footing, which I need not describe or explain. 
The house itself was well known. 

Lastly, witnesses were called to our characters. The 
gentlemen who appeared on behalf of Gregory were, all of 
them, of the highest respectability; many of those who 
testified to mine were of no common distinction. Let me 
remember amongst them my friends, Mr. Wilks and 
Mr. Aaron Hill — Thomson and Mallet — Lord Tyrconnel 
and Major General Churchill, the friend of Mrs. Oldfleld. 
Langley and Burridge, our common friends, spoke in 
behalf of us both jointly. Myte hung about the court, 
and was seen both by Gregory and me ; but by no in- 
ducement could he be prevailed upon to enter the witness 
box. At length, tearing himself from Langley's detaiuing 
grasp, and drawing in a long breath, he rushed wildly out 
of the court. 

When Page was about to sum up, a woman in the dress 
of a widow made her way to the witness box, and having 



352 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



been helped into it, after bestowing a low obeisance upon 
the judge, turned towards us, and smiling, though the 
tears rolled plentifully down her face, nodded encourag- 
ingly at Gregory and me. It was some time before I 
recognised her, but when at last I did, the spirit that had 
upheld me all along had well nigh deserted me. Had I 
not checked, on a sudden, a rebellious rising in my throat, 
my eyes had overflowed. 

£C Please your honourable worship," said poor simple 
Mrs. Martin, with a low curtsy ; " I know the two young 
gentlemen yonder. The youngest of 'em — he was but a 
boy then — came to lodge with my good master and me 
(I wish he was alive and here — he could have told you 
better than I can) ; well, your worshipful lordship/' curt- 
sying again, " he was treated very barbarously by his 
lady -mother, one Madam Brett/' 

" What does the woman mean ? " cried Page ; cc to 
what does this lead ? What do you know of the prisoner ? 
What have you to say in his favour ? " 

cc I was coming to that, please your worship," cried 
Mrs. Martin. " She wanted to put him on board ship — 
to make away with him, like. Well, my master " 

cc Stand down, woman," exclaimed Page, roughly ; 
cc we are not to be amused with these old wife's tales. Bid 
her stand down." 

A constable laid his hand upon her arm. " You must 
stand down, missus." 

She did not resist, but curtsying as before, went out of 
the box. 

" I wouldn't speak falsely for the world, and all its 
worth," said she, appealing to the people about her ; ts but, 
gentlemen, I wanted to say this ; " I know the dear young 
creature there, whose life's in the hands of God Almighty, 
not in no one's here, wouldn't kill a fly, much more a 
Christian, unless he had call to do it." 

She now wiped her wet cheeks, endeavouring to get as 
near to us as she could, nodding at us, as though bidding 
us keep up our spirits. 

The commotion caused by this little incident having 
subsided, Page proceeded to sum up the evidence against 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



353 



us, which he did with extraordinary unfairness and par- 
tiality. He remarked, that whatever difference there 
might have been, and was, in the depositions of the wit- 
nesses, it by no means amounted to inconsistency, and 
that it was easily explained by the suddenness and confusion 
with which the whole business had been carried on. He 
observed, further, that the difference itself was sufficient 
to satisfy the jury of the general truth of the testimony 
offered by those who had appeared against us. ee If," 
said he, " their evidence had been one? it might reasonably 
be suspected that it was false ; since it is impossible they 
could each have seen all ; or granting that possibility, that 
they could have been sufficiently collected to have remem- 
bered it with such exactness as would justify you in giving 
implicit credit to it. They all agree, nor do the prisoners 
themselves deny it, that Merchant gave the first provo- 
cation. With regard to the witnesses they have called, 
their evidence can weigh but lightly with you, as they 
were not present till the murder, as I may say, was on its 
course. But, gentlemen of the jury," raising his voice, 
and casting a hideous leer first towards us, and then at the 
twelve fellows in the box, who having enjoyed his peculiar 
humour before, or having heard of his talent that way, 
relaxed their muscles and sat prepared to furnish a requit- 
ing grin ; " but, gentlemen of the jury, this, I doubt not, 
all this is a very light matter to the prisoners at the bar, 
more especially to Mr. Savage, who, as you no doubt have 
perceived, has carried himself to-day, as though killing a 
gentleman were a very praiseworthy occupation of a gen- 
tleman's time. Must we not teach Mr. Savage a different 
lesson ? Gentlemen of the jury, consider, I pray you, 
that Mr. Savage is a very great man — oh ! a great man, 
indeed — a much greater man than you or I, gentlemen of 
the jury ; remember that he wears laced clothes, much 
finer clothes than you or I — that he carries a sword, a 
very fine sword, which he knows how to use much better 
than you or I, gentlemen of the jury ; that he has plenty 
of money in his pocket — much more money than you or 

I, gentlemen of the jury ; but " here he paused, and 

laying forth his hands, opened his eyes to the full stretch 



354 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



and shrugged his shoulders appealingly, " but, gentlemen 
of the jury, is it not, after all, a hard case, a very hard 
case, that Mr. Savage should therefore kill you or me, 
gentlemen of the jury." 

I cannot describe the rage, horror, and disgust with 
which I listened to the infamous harangue. 

"Gentlemen of the jury," I called out, "this judge, 
whom you have just heard, appears to love his joke better 
than justice. This is not Smithfield, this is a court of 
law ; nor ought we to suffer, because fortune has mis- 
placed him. Mr. Page, when he seeks by these means to 
obtain a conviction against me for murder, is endeavouring 
to commit one. Gentlemen, you ought not to listen — " 

(i Silence, fellow," interrupted Page, all the irresponsible 
and licentious devil flaming forth out of his face. " Si- 
lence ! " he roared, " take the fellow from the court — 
what ! does he resist ? — drag him away by force. What ! 
what ! what ! — do you mark him, gentlemen of the 
jury ? " 

Three fellows laid hands upon me, and haled me out of 
the court, amid the murmurs of the spectators. 

ee You'll swing for this, master, I'm sorry to tell you." 
said one of the fellows. " Lord bless you ! why did you 
break out so ? It's only his way ; he always plays with 
his fish before he kills era." 

I was informed that during my absence Page thought 
fit to restrain his merriment, and to put on, with what- 
ever difficulty, an air of decent gravity. He explained 
that characters, however good, were of no avail to the pri- 
soner, when the evidence, as in this instance, was con- 
clusive, although it might stand him in good stead when 
the evidence was doubtful. He called upon the jury, there- 
fore, for their verdict. 

While the jury were deliberating, I was re-admitted, 
that I might hear the verdict pronounced. They were 
closeted more than an hour, and, on their return, found 
Gregory and me guilty of murder, and Merchant of man- 
slaughter. The instant it w r as pronounced, a female figure, 
rising from her seat, uttered a piercing shriek, and went 
into strong: convulsions. — My Elizabeth ! — A crowd 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



355 



gathered about her to tender, as I suppose, assistance. 
There was but an instant ; the gaolers had us by the arms, 
and were about to lead us out of the court. In the centre 
of it, and in the midst of a multitude pressing to leave — 
for the court had risen — I beheld Mrs. Brett. Her eyes 
encountered mine — such eyes ! I wonder not they 
sickened Gregory to look upon them. A smile, too, upon 
her lip, that a stranger would have called irresistible, but 
of which I knew the deadly import, she knowing that I 
knew it. 



CHAPTER IV. 

IN WHICH RICHARD SAVAGE, THE PHILOSOPHER, IS TRANSFORMED 
IN A MOMENT INTO A VERY COMMON MAN. WITH SOME WOR- 
THIER SPECIMENS OF HUMAN NATURE THAN WERE TO BE FOUND 
(SAVE ONE) IN THE FOREGOING CHAPTER. 

There was an interval of four days between the trial and 
the passing of the sentence. These, if not the most miser- 
able, were, assuredly, the most anxious of my life. On the 
conclusion of our trial, Gregory and myself were conducted 
back to prison, where we were closely confined, being con- 
signed to separate cells, and loaded with irons. 

If the partiality and injustice of Page had been instru- 
mental to my conviction, there was this to thank him for, 
he had displayed both so openly, that whilst his villany 
provoked my indignation, and, therefore, sustained my 
spirits, it raised a not unreasonable impression that no sen- 
tence of death passed upon us by him could be carried 
into execution. 

That sentence, however, was pronounced upon us by 
Page, when we were brought before him, after I had ad- 
dressed the court in a short speech, in which, if I pleaded 
for an extension of mercy (there were other judges on the 
bench — to Page I had disdained to appeal), I did it in 
a a 2 



356 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



no unmanly or unbecoming way, and I take heaven to wit- 
ness, more on my Friend Gregory's account than on my 
own. 

It was of no avail. We were returned to our cells with 
an intimation that we must prepare ourselves for an igno- 
minious death, which we were to undergo within a fort- 
night. I must mention here, that Merchant was burnt in 
the hand, and discharged. 

It is, perhaps, a happiness of my nature, and not one of 
my virtues, that I can bear afflictions — and I have had 
many to bear — not only with fortitude, but with serenity. 
It is true, my life, hitherto, had known its share of sorrow 
and disappointment ; but for that very reason it was dear 
to me. In youth, in proportion to the present misery, is 
the expectation of future joy. Age were not so wise, 
shaking its head at the vanity of hope, only that it knows 
it cannot hold out till the fair day comes round; or if it 
can, that it will have no longer pulse or passion to enjoy it. 

Be this as it may, I endeavoured to shake the old world 
from off me, and to mould my mind to a frame of be- 
coming resignation to my fate. I confess, my chief desire, 
in the first instance, was to show the world that I could 
meet death face to face, with a gallant spirit. I acknow- 
ledge, with shame, that the next world was not very much 
in my thoughts, till it was recalled to me by the kindest 
letter ever written by one friend to another, which I 
received from Dr. Young, who had then recently entered 
into orders, and from whom I had experienced many acts 
of kindness, the last of which had been the introduction 
of me to the Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, a lady whose 
goodness I shall never cease to reverence, whose generous 
nature shall have my admiration to the last, and this, in 
spite of a man whom I love and venerate as much as I 
can well do any man breathing, but whom (I take leave 
to say so) I love the less, and do not so entirely venerate, 
because of his extraordinary, extravagant and pitiable 
attacks upon that lady. 

Steele, if I remember, says in the Spectator, that con- 
solation too early administered is the renewal of grief. It 
is true of consolation that hastens, treading on the heel of 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



357 



an affliction just past ; but sympathy cannot come too 
soon when it is to strengthen us against a calamity that is 
about to befal us, and that we cannot escape. The letter 
of Young withdrew my thoughts — transferred my hopes 
from this world to the other — made me feel, what no 
exhortation except to one, in like circumstances, can ever 
make any man feel — for the truth is so trite as to be 
useless — the uncertainty of happiness in this life — its 
instability if it be attained — its worthlessness when it 
is secured. 

This letter, and the Bible, to which it bore frequent 
reference, wrought a change within me ; and beyond one 
pang of anguish constantly recurring when I thought of 
my Elizabeth, and which I had not been human (below, 
not above humanity), had I striven to assuage or to 
suppress, I felt that now, indeed, I could die like a man 
and a Christian. 

In the meantime, our friends were using their best 
exertions to procure a pardon for us. Of these, none 
were more zealous or active than Burridge. The severity 
and brutality of Page were well known ; their exercise in 
our case had been made public, and was openly com- 
mented upon and strongly condemned. The present 
King*, had only recently ascended the throne, and an 
appeal to Queen Caroline for her intercession in our 
behalf was resolved upon, and at length submitted to that 
august lady. 

Our execution was stayed, while an inquiry into the 
particulars of our case was going on. 

One morning Burridge obtained admittance to me, 
and after gazing at me for some time in silence, burst 
into tears. I was shocked beyond expression at the agi- 
tation of the old man, and begged of him, for Heaven's 
sake, to tell me what he had to say at once — 

" 6 Worse than the worst, content,' " said I, with his 
favourite, Shakspeare. I said this, I believe, falteringly, 
for my health had suffered during my confinement, and 
my spirits had in some degree, deserted me, since Gre- 

* George II. 



A A 3 



35S 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



gory's illness, under which he had languished more than 
three weeks. The brave fellow felt his father's cruelty 
and Myte's unkindness more deeply than the perilous cir- 
cumstances of his own condition. 

cc < Worse than the worst, content,' " repeated Burridge, 
laying his hands upon my shoulders. " That is well said, 
my boy Dick ; and ' worse than the worst/ have you now 
to bear. Prepare yourself to hear it." 

" I know it, already. I am to die. The Queen's in- 
tercession has not been successful — has failed ? " 

A twitch in Burridge's face. 

" I am bound to tell you, Richard Savage. Let me 
thank God that I am a Christian, and let me command 
you to remember that you are one. — The Queen will not 
interfere to save you ! She said she could not think of 
interceding for a man who had once attempted the life of 
his mother. She has been told the wretched lie, that you 
once broke into Mrs. Brett's house, and endeavoured to 
murder her ; and there is too much reason to believe, 
from the inquiries your friends and I have made, that 
your mother has caused this story to be conveyed to the 
the Queen. Whether it be so or not, the Queen is 
inexorable." 

I uttered a cry of horror, and dashed myself upon the 
ground. 

" Oh, my God ! Oh, my God ! that I could weep — 
that I could but weep," I exclaimed. sc Oh ! that I 
were crushed out of the world at once — extinguished. 
Does such a wretch as I breathe in this world ? No, no, 
no ; it is no place for me. It is hell ! — hell ! " 

" My good lad — my dear boy," said Burridge, sooth- 
ingly, coming towards me, u this is so unlike you — be 
master of yourself. You knew that it was only a chance 
whether we succeeded or no. Come, you have often told 
me you were prepared for the worst. Collect yourself. 
Be a man !" 

" I am one!" I exclaimed, starting up on one hand, 
and dashing my fist against my forehead; "it is because 
I am one, Burridge, that I feel this ; — it is because I am 
one, that I cannot bear it. What ! am I a wild beast ? — 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



359 



I may be ; but I am caged — well, let me be butchered ; 
I cannot escape it." 

Such wild nonsense do people vent in paroxysms. 

6e You talk franticly, Richard/' cried Burridge. 
" Smooth your countenance. Command yourself, I en- 
treat ; and let not your old master blush for you. What 
is this paltry breath, that we should repine at yielding 
it up ? What is this life but a thing held on sufferance, 
to be restored, when God, who lent, demands it back ? " 

I had leaned my head upon his shoulder. 

" Oh, sir," said I, bursting into a passion of tears — 
a convulsion, that, ere it relieved, tortured me to madness, 
" how have you mistaken my emotion. You shall not 
blush for your poor friend. Do you think I hold my life 
at a pebble's purchase — that I would not willingly yield 
this wretched incumbrance to my soul this very moment 
at Tyburn ? What is it but my better reason which is 
now returned, but which deserted me just now, that with- 
holds me from dashing my skull against this wall, or 
from beating out my brains with these irons ? I hate my 
life! — and why? I'll tell you" — speaking short and 
thick, but rapidly — " my mother, that infernal — most 
infernal creature, gave it to me. I knew her hatred to 
me. I knew her malice — but I knew not — how could 
I know — for it is infinite — all her wickedness ? Help 
me now to curse her," snatching his arm. 

" Enough — I will not," cried Burridge. " She needs 
not the curse of man ; she needs our prayers." 

cc All the prayers, Burridge, that ever thronged Heaven's 
gate, outnumbered, for her salvation, were useless. You 
are not a man ; — you have no human resentment of 
wrongs — of my wrongs — if you do not curse her." 

" You talk franticly, young man," said Burridge. " I 
shall leave you, till you are more yourself." 

" Am I not calm ?" I returned. cc I wish to be so." 

" That is well." 

" You see that I am calm ? " 

" I do ; and I am glad to see it." 

u Then hear, Mr. Burridge, what I say calmly ; what 
I say in the prospect of death : words that I could wish 

A A 4 



360 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



might live, when I am dead — and sting like serpents, 
when this hody is the prey of worms. I curse her, sir, 
with all my heart — -with all my soul, and with all my 
strength. May she live till death becomes to her at once 
a horror and a refuge — a horror that she cannot bear, a 
refuge that she dare not embrace ; — and when she dies — 
but no, I pursue her no farther : then will her punish- 
ment and my revenge begin." 

" You have said more than enough, O Richard Savage," 
cried Burridge, catching my clasped hands as they de- 
scended, u more than enough to peril your own soul. You 
serve her turn — wretch that you are! What! are you 
so well pleased that she shall destroy you in this world, 
that you must needs help her to destroy you in the next ? 
This is not madness — it is stupidity. Sit down and 
think, if you can think, and recal your foolish speech. 
Have you done so ? " 

He had led me like a child to the stone bench. " You 
were ever hasty, Dick," he continued, after a pause ; " but 
never malignant. It is gone, is it ? " 

" It is, sir, — and I am sorry. I was a fool.*' 

(i Ah well ! " said Burridge, cc all men are fools who 
will not know how sure an avenger Time is, or knowing, 
will not await his hour. The Italians say, c Justice has 
feet of lead, but iron hands.' The feet move slowly, but 
surely : the hands as sure — and but once." 

At this moment the bolts were drawn back, and the 
key was turned in the door of my cell. 

" My time is expired," said Burridge peevishly, " and I 
had many things to say to you. These gaolers execute 
their duty strictly. I will see you to-morrow. What ! 
How's this ? " 

The door being opened, a lady, her face concealed by a 
veil, entered the cell hastily. Putting aside her veil, she 
flew towards me, and clasped me in her arms. 

Elizabeth Wilfred — her eyes not dim, but sparkling 
through her tears — her lips with her own sweet smile 
upon them — her face very pale, but exulting — suffused 
with a white radiance. 

She could not speak for some moments ; but drew me 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



361 



closer and closer to her bosom ; her heart beating violently 
against mine. 

" Dearest Richard/' she said, at length, raising her eyes 
to mine, " I was too overpowered to speak, but I can 
now." 

" Compose yourself, my love ; let me lead you to this 
seat. You tremble.' , I was alarmed by her fluttering 
manner, and by a strange lightness in her eye. 

" I tremble, but it is with joy," she replied, bursting 
into tears. " Forgive me ; but I cannot help weeping — 
it will do me good. Richard, you are pardoned.' , 

I directed my eyes to Burridge, who was standing 
apart. He shook his head, and put up his shoulders. 

" Some one has cruelly deceived you, Elizabeth," 
said I. 

C( No — no — 1 had it from her own lips ; — the 
Queen's own lips. The King has granted you and your 
friend a free pardon. Do not mind me," sinking on the 
stone bench and throwing herself back, when she gave vent 
to a violent fit of weeping, " I shall be well, now ; but I 
cannot bear to see that wasted face, and those dreadful 
fetters." 

" Get out of the way," cried Burridge, briskly pushing 
me aside, Ci hovering over the young lady like a bird of 
ill-omen. Don't you know it is the sight of you that 
affects her. Go away into yonder corner." 

The old gentleman now seated himself by Elizabeth's 
side, and taking her tenderly round the waist, wiped her 
tears from her eyes with her handkerchief. " Dear ma- 
dam," said he soothingly, " pray calm yourself. You 
afflict our unhappy friend Savage there — you do, indeed. 
Ah well ! that sigh was the last, I am sure. That smile 
shows you're a good girl. Come, come — that's very well. 
Now, madam ; pray don't be in haste to speak, — are you 
quite certain you are not deceived ? Are you sure that 
Mr. Savage and his friend are pardoned ? " 

" Quite sure, sir. Richard," she motioned me to seat 
myself by her side, and taking my hand between her own, 
proceeded : " Mr. Savage and Mr. Gregory will be ad- 
mitted to bail — I think that is the word — which we must 



362 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



procure at once, preparatory to their pleading the King's 
pardon." She turned to me. " You have the good 
countess to thank for this, who has interested herself for 
you, like a mother ! " 

" Like a mother !" cried Burridge, springing up, Ci ha ! 
ha ! no matter. Ill he one of their bail, and I'll soon get 
the others. What's the amount, my little love ; but what 
does that signify ? Does the keeper know of this ? is the 
prison resonant with it ? (what a word is that 1 resonant' 

— I'm an old fool.) Have directions come down — or 
what the deuce do they call 'em — to the keeper of this 
gaol of Newgate, I wonder ? " 

" I told the man who admitted me, I believe/' said 
Elizabeth ; " but I did not wait to hear whether they 
were apprised of it." 

C£ To be sure not, my dear madam," returned Burridge. 
C( I'll away to Gregory's cell, and pluck the poor fellow 
out by the ears. You may well look amazed, Dick. I 
hope you will go down on your knees to-night, sir, and 
thank God for your deliverance. But tell me, before I go 

— who is this young lady — this angel ? I must call you 
so, my dear, whether you like it or no." 

C( This young lady, sir," said I. ec is Miss Elizabeth 
Wilfred, a daughter of Sir Richard Steele." 

u A daughter of Sir Richard Steele !" cried Burridge, 
throwing up his hands, and then bringing them down gra- 
dually till they enclosed the face of Elizabeth between 
them ; tf let me look at you, my pretty one. And so you 
are, sure enough. The eye and the mouth are just his. 
Ah, well ! God bless him ! And won't you let an old 
friend of your father salute you, Miss Elizabeth ? " 

She lifted up her face to his. 

" To be sure she will," cried Burridge, hugging her in 
his arms in a rapture, atid kissing her rather more ardently 
than, upon any other occasion, I should altogether have 
approved ; " and so you take an interest in this sorry fel- 
low, do you ? " 

" I have a reason, a very strong reason," returned 
Elizabeth, blushing, " to be grateful to Mr. Savage, and 
to respect him." 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



363 



Burridge gazed at her awhile earnestly, and in silence ; 
and then, abruptly leaving her, drew out his handkerchief, 
and stalked to the other end of the cell, where he remained, 
as it seemed, staring at the wall. 

" Such once," said he, in a low and tremulous voice, 
approaching me, and laying his hand upon my arm, " such 
once, as young and as beautiful — and as good — and as 
good, was she who lives here, in my heart, till I go down 
to my grave ! — 

' Oh, woman ! lovely woman ! nature made you, 
To temper man — we had been brutes without you : 
There's in you all that we believe of heaven, — 
Amazing brightness — ' 

" Fool!" checking himself suddenly; " this is no place, 
Dick, for the young creature. Whither, madam, shall I 
have the honour of conducting you ? " 

" I have a coach at the door," returned Elizabeth, C( and 
was going to Mr. Myte's, to inform him and the young 
ladies of the happy event. Miss Martha, I am sure — " 

ce Will hasten back with you ; ha, ha ! " cried Bur- 
ridge ; i( the sight of his mistress will do Gregory more 
good than all the doctors that ever pondered over pulse, or 
puzzled over prescription. We must get our friends into 
better quarters before you return, if money will do it (and 
I believe you may melt even a gaoler's heart with it). You 
will not be long, I dare say. Permit me, madam, to hand 
you to your coach." 

Burridge returned in a few minutes, bringing Gregory 
with him, and followed by two fellows, who proceeded to 
knock off our irons. When that agreeable task was com- 
pleted, we embraced one another cordially. 

fC I must leave you for a few minutes together," said 
Burridge, " while I go and take counsel with the keeper 
about more comfortable lodgings for you ; for the man ai 
the gate tells me that the bail cannot be perfected to-day." 

Burridge's tidings," cried Gregory, when the old gen- 
tleman had left us to ourselves, " have had a miraculous 
effect upon me. I thought I should have died in this hole 
before 1 took a little fresh air on the road to Tyburn ; and, 
fool that I was, imagined that, my father having so cruelly 



364 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



deserted me, I had nothing to wish for, and had no wish to 
live ; hut I find there are more eggs in the basket than I 
knew of. Burridge is going to the old gentleman to try 
to prevail upon him to be one of our bail, and to take me 
into his forgiveness. I hope he may succeed. It is now, 
for the first time, that I pity the unhappy fate of Sinclair." 

" I began to do so before you," I replied ; " and have 
left off before you have well begun. Surely the wretch, 
who with his dying breath could have forged a base lie to 
sacrifice us, is little worthy of pity." 

" Walk this way, gentlemen," cried Burridge, " the 
keeper will give you possession of a comfortable apartment 
up stairs. Major Oneby, it seems, the last gentleman who 
occupied it, lived in it for a year, and found it very much 
to his mind. I mean that we shall make a day of it, when 
I have got our party together. I have ordered dinner, and 
plenty of wine. Benson, the keeper, tells me there has 
been more jollity in that room than in half the taverns in 
town. Its character must be kept up." 

" I shall hardly help to do so," observed Gregory, who 
was yet very ill. " I fear, sir, I must retire to bed 
early." 

" Pish !" said Burridge ; " when a barber has been at 
you, and you've shifted yourself, you'll be another man." 

The old gentleman was right. I suspect he had been 
acquainted with gaols in his earlier years, and knew very 
well how soon a prison fever is dispersed by the prospect 
of a speedy liberation from confinement. In less than an 
hour, a vast change was effected in the spirits and appear- 
ance both of Gregory and myself, and having taken posses- 
sion of the room up stairs, we awaited the coming of our 
friends, discoursing with something like gaiety, in the 
meanwhile, upon topics connected with the outward world, 
to which we had bidden adieu, but in which we were once 
more to show ourselves. 

Elizabeth was the first to return, accompanied by Martha 
Myte and Langley. The overjoyed little creature was 
soon in the arms of Gregory ; Elizabeth made the scene 
more affecting by her tears ; Langley looked rueful for a 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



365 



while^ and then turned away to the window, whilst I felt 
a strong inclination to favour the company with a dance. 

K I wish that mother of mine/' thought I, " could see 
this sight." The wish was a drawback upon my present 
felicity ; as, indeed,, all thoughts of that woman were cer- 
tain of being, whenever they arose in my mind, or rather, 
whenever they descended upon it. 

Langley shook us heartily by the hand, and congratu- 
lated us upon our good fortune. " How your pardon was 
brought about, however/' said he, "we have yet to learn. 
Miss Wilfred will presently resolve the mystery. Mr. Myte 
would have been most happy to join Burridge in offering 
bail for you ; but I insisted upon having that pleasure 
myself. He will be here in the evening." 

" To say the truth," he added, drawing me aside, " I 
think Myte is almost ashamed to see you. You know he 
neither wants generosity nor virtue ; but he is such an 
arrant slave to the world, and to the world's opinion, that 
he is not to be considered a free agent. He walks the 
slow, regular pace of conventional morality, because the 
world does so; and 'tis only when the world — as it will 
happen sometimes — deviates into a liberal canter, that he 
finds out what a d d hobble the former was. His re- 
sentment against Page for his insolence and injustice on 
your trial is as great as ours, or that of all your friends 
can be ; and his abhorrence of your mother in this, her 
last atrocity, as strong as might be wished, and as sincere ; 
but I confess his resentment and abhorrence were not 
very strongly expressed till just now, when he learned that 
his Majesty had been pleased to extend a free pardon to 
you." 

" Myte is like a pigeon/' said I, " he never flies against 
the wind." 

" As wise as a serpent," returned Langley ; " as inno- 
cent as a dove." 

Burridge now entered the room with Gregory's father. 

His son did not at the moment observe him, being en- 
gaged in earnest conversation with his mistress, a want of 
dutiful attention, as the old gentleman appeared to consider 
it, which irritated him not a little. He knocked his cane 



366 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



upon the ground two or three times, and hemmed very 
loud. 

" Come here, my son Tom, and embrace me," said he. 
u You're a wicked sinner, you, Tom ; but Mr. Burridge 
tells me I must forgive you. You don't know what you've 
made your poor old father suffer on your account. No sleep 
o'nights, and the asthma worse than ever." 

The old man's sufferings had not caused him to fall away 
in the least, nor did his voice betray much emotion. He 
embraced his son very coolly and deliberately. ei Why, 
you look very ill, Tom," he resumed. £C You remind me of 
your dear good mother, who was spared this terrible trial, 
rest her soul ! You think me right, don't you, sir," he 
added, turning to Burridge, " in what I have done ? I 
ought to set my face against such wicked proceedings, 
oughtn't I ? ' Thou shalt not kill,' say the Scriptures, 
and the laws must be obeyed — must be obeyed. But 
since the king has been pleased to pardon my son, it 
wouldn't be right, would it, Mr. Burridge, if I were not to 
pardon him likewise? I was always a loyal man — Heaven 
forbid that I should be thought otherwise.'' 

Having made this speech, he looked round complacently 
upon the company. f< You've said enough," cried Bur- 
ridge, motioning the younger Gregory to be seated ; " you 
are the best judge of your own actions, and of the motives 
to them ; nobody is disposed to question either. Your 
son is saved, and will return to you without the smallest 
stain upon his reputation." 

" Very good," cried old Gregory, " and I'm very glad 
to think so ; and I can't help thinking," with a wheezy 
chuckle, " that Tom and his friend will be made more of 
by the world than they were before. To be pardoned by 
his Majesty after they had been sentenced to death !" 

" Better than if they had been acquitted at first," said 
Burridge, with a wink at me. 

"No doubt — no doubt," cried the old gentleman: 
" it's a distinction, sir, a distinction. Mr. Langley, your 
most obedient. Mr. Savage, I am happy to congratulate 
you. I say," drawing me aside, " I see Miss Martha is 
here. I suppose she came of her own accord. This is by 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



no means a proper place for young women. The other 
young lady is, I suppose, your lady. Ah ! well, it's 
human nature. Where is our good friend Mr. Myte, 
sir?" to Langley. 

ec He will be here in the evening/' returned the other ; 
(c particular business detained him, or he had come with 
me." 

" What a man it is for business ! " exclaimed the old 
gentleman; "any thing gives place to it — and so it 
should. Now, I dare say he wouldn't neglect his business 
to see his best friend hanged." 

" Nor to prevent his hanging/' said Langley, whis- 
pering in his ear. 

"Eh? what? oh, fie — yes, he would; but business 
must be attended to, whether or no." 

So saying, he seated himself by his son, and occupied 
the time till dinner was announced (when he pricked up 
his ears briskly) in reflections upon the folly and wicked- 
ness of which " Tom " had been guilty ; in shuddering 
comments, with raised hands, upon the ignominious con- 
sequences that had like to have ensued, and which had 
been so providentially averted ; and in sundry well- 
satisfied eulogiums upon his own conduct. " I couldn't 
do otherwise, Tom." " I know the world better than 
you." u I'll ask Mr. Myte when he comes whether he 
thinks I haven't acted quite properly." Ci I'm willing to 
forgive you, because of your poor dear mother, and be- 
cause you're my only son ; " " If I'd had another, I'd 
have cut you off, Tom ; I wouldn't have spared you, 
Tom." " If you had been hanged, what would have 
become of me, Tom ? " Such a disgusting old callous 
blockhead ! Tom was ashamed, as well he might be, of 
such a wretched specimen of paternity. But his presence 
was, perhaps, serviceable. W e had been too happy with- 
out him. 

f( Don't tell me," cried he, " you must have given your 
mother some cause to hate you like poison, as she does, 
Mr. Savage. I know the world, and what human nature 
is, well. People don't hate others without cause, much 
less mothers their sons. You've offended her, sir, bitterly 



368 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



in your time, I dare say. You may smile, Mr. Savage ; 
let those laugh that win." 

iC My dear sir !" expostulated his son, twitching at his 
elbow. 

" Let me alone, Tom ; you know I'm right. You're 
no better than he. Why, you've offended me in your 
time, you know you have, and made me hate you, almost; 
and if I've forgiven you, it's because — " here he looked 
round for applause, but did not find it — " it's because I 
know what it is to be a true Christian." 

Myte came in the evening, as he had promised. He 
entered the room shame-facedly, and as though half afraid 
to walk forward ; but this was his usual affected foolery ; 
for upon being welcomed with cordiality, he at once 
resumed his natural manner. Having saluted the company 
generally, he went up and shook Gregory in a very friendly 
manner by the hand, hoping he should yet have him for 
a son-in-law ; ee Which," said he, " it shall be Greg's 
fault if I do not ; for I believe Vandal loves you," pinch- 
ing her chin. <e O Ricardo ! " turning to me, and taking 
my hand, " how can I look you in the face ? Don't 
look at my face, Miss Wilfred, till the purple has quite 
gone off. I'm afraid I'm a desperate old vagabond : 
I, who never came near you and mad Tom during your 
distress. I, who ran away out of the court when I ought 
to have lifted up my voice in your favour. I, who," 
sinking his tone, and urging me into a corner, <c am not 
a whit better than old Greg over the table, who would 
have gone to see his son hanged, and returned to breakfast 
with a better appetite than usual, the fresh air and exercise 
having conduced thereto ! Lud ! Lud ! if I don't mend ! 
— But what good could I have done ? I'd better go and 
take my place by the side of Old Villanous ; we shall pair 
very well. I'll ask him how he contrives to keep on good 
terms with himself: he'll tell me he don't know ; but it's 
human nature. No, hang him, I won't be near him. 
I'll sit between you and Una." So saying, he took his 
seat between us, and poured out a glass of wine. 

" I shall drink this glass to Sir Arthur Page," said he : 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



369 



" and may his conscience never fly in his face till his nose 
is too cold to singe a hole in it." 

cc Pish ! " cried Burridge, with whom Myte was no 
favourite. 

t€ Whenever I offer at pleasantry/' said Myte, ce that 
great man snubs me. (I daren't call him Gog to his face," 
nudging me). " I sometimes fancy. Mr. Burridge, you 
are envious of me. I hope not." 

Burridge reddened, and returned a contemptuous smile. 
" Your pleasantry, as you term it, sir — with what justice 
I leave it to others to judge — is ill-timed and out of 
place." 

" Nay, sir," cried Langley, ie do not be hard upon Mr. 
Myte. He thinks the happy turn in our friend's affairs is 
a good excuse for jollity.'' 

" So it is," cried Myte, " and I mean to get drunk as 
fast as I can, 

' Stone walls do not a prison make, 
Or iron bars a cage,' 

as sweet Lovelace sings. This Newgate is as comfortable 
as Will's or Button's. But, seriously, Mr. Burridge, 
what is your opinion of Justice Page ? " 

" To say that he disgraces the bench, is not so much to 
reflect upon him as upon those who placed, and who con- 
tinue, him there," cried Burridge. " He is a disgrace to 
human nature/' 

" And yet/' said Myte, " doesn't Page do that openly 
which we all have it in our hearts to do ; that is to say, 
play the tyrant when we can do it with impunity ? Have 
you never seen a little miss who has the care of her 
younger brothers and sisters ? How she shakes Sally 
because she won't walk straight; how she flies upon 
Tommy because he will; how Jacky catches it because 
the others have caught it ; and how demure is little miss 
all the while — bridling and cocking her chin, as though 
she said : 6 I don't wonder mamma complains of those 
naughty children ; I can scarcely manage them myself.' 
We are all shocking tyrants at heart." 

" I will take your word for yourself, if you will take 
mine for human nature," said Burridge. " Your talk 

B B 



370 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



may do very well for little miss, as you call her, and for 
her brothers and sisters. Excuse me, Mr. Myte, you can 
do better." 

(c Don't be severe upon me, and I'll do as well as I 
can/' returned Myte, who was easily disconcerted. (C I 
wish Dionysius would take himself away, and leave us to 
make fools of ourselves," he whispered to me by and bye. 
" All the wisdom he pretends to, or possesses, shouldn't 
hinder me from being a fool to-night." 

Burridge, much to his relief, arose shortly afterwards to 
leave, pleading a particular engagement, and having con- 
certed to call upon Langley early in the morning, to com- 
plete our bail, took his departure. 

Myte forthwith abandoned himself to gaiety, and drank 
so plentifully of the wine, that he speedily brought him- 
self into a fair way of becoming drunk. 

" I say,, old Greg," he cried, " are you aware that you 
haye been acting a part latterly that has made piety cast 
up the eye, and humanity hang down the head? " 

" My dear sir," replied old Gregory, " I know not what 
you mean. I trust my conduct has been, and will con- 
tinue to be, guided by principles that — eh, Tom ? what 
does Mr. Myte mean ? " 

" I mean," answered Myte, " that your treatment of 
mad Tom— — " 

" Forbear !" cried the father, solemnly. "Interfere 
not between a parent and his child. What, sir ? would 
you arraign my conduct — you, who professed the greatest 
affection for Tom, and the sincerest friendship for Mr. 
Savage, and yet never came near them ? Why, it was 
the observation of your behaviour that determined mine. 
I did but imitate ?/ou." 

e( Imitate me ! 99 said Myte. " No, sir ; you didn't imi- 
tate me — you imitated what is no part of me, but what 
clings to me as though it were. You remind me of Tom 
Southerne's story of the player who had a mind to imitate 
Betterton, and who found it easier to .imitate his gout 
than his acting, and so could hobble like him when he 
could do nothing else. But what do you say now ? Let 
us expiate our crimes ; for, to confess the truth. I have 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



371 



been as guilty as yourself. John shall have Joan. Tom 
shall take Martha, just as if nothing had happened. Your 
thumb to the bargain." 

e( With all my heart!" cried old Gregory, extending 
his hand. 

" It is clinched ! " exclaimed Myte, seizing the thumb 
of the other. " Oh ! my dearest chuck," looking into 
the face of Elizabeth, upon whose shoulder he had been 
reclining his head, " would I could find you a husband 
worthy of you. That I were young again, and unyoked ! 
if I wouldn't supplant Ricardo, I'm a giant. I'll send to 
you when I am dying, that you may smoothe my pillow 
and give me a kiss, so shall I die blest, hoping to go 
whence you came, for sure, my dearest, you must be an 
angel. My son-in-law, Langley, has told me all." 

Myte now began to whimper, a common custom with 
him when he was in his cups, and was, at length, with 
some difficulty induced to depart, first insisting that Eliza- 
beth should accompany them home, which she had pre- 
viously agreed with Martha she would do, and making 
Gregory and me promise that we would dine with him on 
the following day. 

(i I'm not such a heartless rogue as I appear to be ; am 
I, Ricardo ? " he said to me, as he was leaving the room. 

" You are a very worthy man, sir," said I. 

He chuckled at this. <c The man was so willing to take 
what the other man was so willing to offer," said he, 
" that he didn't see it was a bad sixpence. But I'll soon 
begin to live for myself alone. When Daniel Myte has 
Daniel Myte to deal with, he'll come short off, if he 
doesn't behave himself." 



CHAPTER V. 

IN WHICH RICHARD SAVAGE MEDITATES AN EXPEDIENT THAT IS NOT 
HIGHLY CREDITABLE TO HIM ; AND WHEREIN THE DEATH OF A 
FRIEND AND OF AN ENEMY WILL BE FOUND. 

In a few weeks after our liberation, Gregory was made 
happy in the possession of his Martha, and shortly after- 

B B 2 



37 c 2 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



wards obtained a more lucrative appointment at the Custom 
House than the one he had heretofore enjoyed. 

In the meantime, I was greatly shocked and grieved at 
hearing of the lamentable end of Merchant, who was 
found drowned, closely wedged between two barges, near 
Westminster Bridge It was doubtful whether he had 
fallen, or had thrown himself into the river. 

Stephens, the bookseller, for whom Merchant had under- 
taken and performed a vast quantity of Grub Street, and 
of whom I made minute inquiries about him, informed 
me that since he had come into possession of a small sum 
of money by the death of an uncle, he had never succeeded 
in prevailing upon him to engage in any literary labour ; 
and that, after his discharge from Newgate, he was ob- 
served to languish under a strange depression of spirits ; 

— strange to Stephens, who, although a worthy man 
enough, was no child of sensibility, and who knew no 
reason for believing — as, indeed, I had no cause to think 

— that Merchant was cursed that way. He had, it 
seemed, become a confirmed drunkard. Drunkenness, 
which is always the effect, and generally the cause of these 
depressions ; to this,, at last, his death must be referred. 

cc He would come, sir," said Stephens, " and sit on my 
stool in the shop for half an hour together, crying like a 
child ; then, sir, he would cheer up, and send the boy for 
brandy, and begin to talk in his wild way. ' There, 
Stephens,' said he, holding out his hand, (it was the day 
before I heard of the accident that befel him), c who shall 
dare to say that I am not the only man at once qualified 
and authorised/ running his finger along the brand, c to 
write the lives and deaths of the worthy fellows, who never 
can be made to believe that honesty is the best policy, and 
who are carried to Tyburn with a perfect faith, that will not 
go out of 'em, that it is not so — a persuasion which I al^o 
strongly hold, and in which your prosperity more strongly 
confirms me ' — you know his mad way of talking, Mr. 
Savage. Yes, sir, the very day before he died, he made 
that speech to me — his last dying speech, I may call it; 
which, such as it is, I give you for nothing. Nay. sir. 
don't be offended; I meant no harm; only a jest will 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



373 



out. Poor man ! I always thought he would die as 
wretchedly as Mr. Lovell, whom I think you remember. 
To be sure you do ! Why, I recollect you charitably sub- 
scribed towards paying the expense of his burial/' 

" And have often slept in the very room, and, perhaps, 
in the very bed in which he died," said I. (C Since then, 
Mr. Stephens, I have had my share of adversity." 

" God bless me ! " cried he, his respect for me suddenly 
and sensibly on the decrease. " You are a man of parts, 
Savage, and I shouldn't mind finding you employment. I 
have brought forward many gentlemen in my time, I 
assure you, who now make a splendid appearance." 

" I dare say you have, sir ; and when I am solicitous 
about fortune, I'll come to you to help me to make it. 
Good morning." 

But, after a time, my friends once more left me to my 
own resources. I had, as usual, squandered the allow- 
ance made me by Mrs. Oldfield in a very few days, and was 
now reduced to my last farthing. Still, however, I main- 
tained a good suit of clothes, and a fund of spirits which 
the many anxieties and necessities of my life had never been 
able to impair, and which I hope and believe will not de- 
part from me but with my last breath. 

My indolence, during several weeks, favoured my mo- 
ther ; and it was not until I had been for the space of a 
month without a lodging, in which time I fared very ill, 
both as to bed and board — the butcher's stall more fre- 
quently contributing to my repose than to my subsistence; 
it was not, I say, till I found that my affairs were in a 
state of the most pressing necessity, that I sat down and 
addressed a letter to Mrs. Brett, in which I candidly un- 
folded the design I had upon her, and in which I enclosed 
a copy of verses by way of specimen of my abilities in the 
flaying strain. They were so-so : not so coldly malicious 
as might have been wished, and as after-reflection taught me 
the expediency of making any subsequent effusions of a 
like nature I might have occasion to compose ; but they 
indicated very plainly the will that was within me to 
prosecute the theme ; and the subject of my verses was 
well aware that I had abundant materials whereon to ex- 

B B 3 



S?4 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



patiate. However, she deigned not to return an answer ; 
although I was given to understand my threats had not a 
little terrified her. I urged my demands a second time, 
and despatched another copy of verses. These were, I 
admit, shocking couplets ; such, indeed, as, had she not 
in a manner capitulated, I had hardly dared to publish, 
being, as they were, altogether as unworthy of me, as they 
were worthy of her. 

These verses had the effect intended. On the evening 
following the day on which I had transmitted them, call- 
ing at the coffee-house at which I had directed any com- 
munication she might be pleased to make to me to be 
addressed, I found a letter lying for me. It was from 
Lord Tyrconnel, and requested that Mr. Savage would do 
him the honour of calling upon him at an early hour next 
morning, his Lordship having something very particular 
to say to him in relation to two letters he had recently 
forwarded to his mother. 

My friend Charles Beckingham * being in the coffee- 
room, I showed the letter to him. He agreed with me 
that it meant money, and invited me to sup with him, a 
motion with which, as I had tasted nothing that day, I 
very readily complied. I left him at a late hour, after 
borrowing a guinea. 

Why should I refrain from setting down one simple 
incident that occurred after I left Beckingham ? I shall 
speedily provide against any imputation the ill-natured 
reader may lay against me of self-glorification, by at once 
admitting that I take no credit to myself for having done 
as I did, and that I look upon the act as an effervescence 
merely of that heroical coxcombry, of which, I believe, I 
have heretofore spoken. 

Behold me, then, on the cock-crow side of' midnight, 
leaning against a post at Charing Cross, the guinea in my 
pocket pressed between my thumb and fore-finger. I was 

* This young gentleman, who was cut off at an early age, and bade fair to 
have made a considerable figure in the world of letters, was \or\ roach my 
friend. During my imprisonment in Newgate, he published a short account 
of me, which had a very large sale. My mother's conduct to roe was therein 
touched upon, and with no gentle hand. She escaped general execration, 
however, through an initial letter and a dash, an expedient to which it is a pity 
any man who purposes telling the truth in a right cause should ever resort. , 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



revolving in my mind whither I should betake myself till 
morning : that is to say. whether I should at once retire 
to bed at a public house opposite my old lodging in Queen 
Street^ or whether I should not rather join a host of choice 
spirits in Wych Street, over whom it had been my custom 
to preside, and who were now. probably, in the very rap- 
ture of merriment. 

While I thus stood — lo ! a squalid, loathsome figure 
was before me. the eyes raised to mine, the lips gib- 
bering, and the hands, as it were, sadly rawing each 
other. I started and almost uttered a cry. so horrible was 
that woman to me. One of the lank hands was laid upon 
my arm. I looked down upon her. over my shoulder. 

Begone, or let me go." I said. 

" Stay ! " the voice was very feeble ! " I am starving — 
I want bread. For the love of God. Richard Savage — 
for the love of him. young man. who loved you. and mc 
once — James Ludlow — give me some assistance." 

A supplication less potent had sufficed. Poor, shocking 
wretch ! and is not the devil, then, a gentleman of his 
word, that he provides no better for his faithful servants ! 
Art thou come to this ? Lift up thy head. Honesty, for 
now do I believe thy turn may yet come ! Something like 
this passed through my mind as I looked upon the forlorn 
woman ; something, alas, of pity — of compassion, stol? 
upon me while T gazed. A minute gone I had sworn it 
was impossible I could ever forgive this woman — now. I 
had despised myself had I not done so freely. li I have a 
guinea in my pocket/' I said, " but it is too late to get it 
changed to-night, or I would spare you a trifle out of it/' 

The hope of relief, as 1 conjecture, turned her face, if 
possible to a more death-like whiteness. " Robinson's is 
still open,'-' she said. <: bat I dare not go there ; I have 
quarrelled with Mrs. Edersby. Would you. sir, mind" — 
she hesitated, M you will not be insulted." I had no wish, 
I confess, to enter the place : but the condition of Mrs. 
Ludlow was imminent, She clung to me from very weak- 
ness, and I expected every moment that she would faint. 
I led her across the street, and up the passage, and seating 

B B 4 



876 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



her on an empty barrel in the small area beyond, bade her 
wait there till 1 came out. 

Mrs, Edersby was in her room. I gave my hat a slouch 
over the eyes that she might not recognise me ; and called 
for a glass of wine and water, and some biscuits. Having 
procured these, I laid down my guinea, and received the 
change ; and telling her that I wanted the refreshment for 
a poor woman whom I had left outside, and who was 
famishing, promised to return the glass in a minute, and 
proceeded to my charge. 

I watched her in silence, while she despatched what I 
had brought her, which she did with extreme avidity. The 
wine revived her, and with her strength returned her 
shame. When she had drunk the contents of the glass, 
she placed it into my hand, and rising, muttered thanks 
and was going from me. I laid my hand upon her 
shoulder. She stopped, but did not turn. " Your mother, 
sir, did not incite me to swear falsely against you, as you 
may have thought. I saw her in the court. It was the 
sight of her that frightened me." 

" I wanted not to hear this/' I replied. u 1 promised 
to give you some relief ; take this," I extended half-a- 
guinea. 

It was some time before she took it from me. When 
she did, she placed it in the corner of an old rag, which 
she drew, I know not whence, and folding it tightly to- 
gether, placed it in her bosom. So calm and still the 
while ! But now, a violent trembling seized her limbs. I 
saw her face for a moment, and would have retired. She 
caught my hand with both her own, and wrung it to 
agony. A dreadful effort of nature that must have vent, 
but cannot, struggled in her throat, and swelled it almost 
to bursting. How I thanked God when the frightful 
paroxysm was over, and that I had not mentioned her 
husband's name when I offered the money, which I be- 
lieve would have killed her. 

Go thy ways, miserable abandoned outcast ! Not, let 
me hope, abandoned of Heaven, since the tears that gushed 
from thine eyes, if they were (as, indeed, they were) thy 
atonement here, will surely plead for thee hereafter. 



II IC HARD SAVAGE. 



377 



I never saw her more. About a year subsequently, 
however, moved by compassion for the poor woman, or 
curiosity to learn what was become of her, I conquered 
my feelings of disgust and abhorrence, so far as to call 
upon Mrs. Edersby, to whom I made myself known, and 
of whom I inquired respecting her. The woman told me 
that she was dead ; and entered into particulars, for she 
had been sent for, it seemed, by the dying creature ; and 
having a grudging kindness for her, attended her death- 
bed with a bottle of Geneva. Such a death ! Such only as 
such a woman as Mrs. Ludlow can die ; such only as a 
Mrs. Edersby can relate ! I forbear. 

But this Edersby had a touch of feeling in her, and, I 
warrant, kept some terms with her conscience, although I 
suspect she was heavily its debtor. She wept as she related 
the melancholy end of her gossip ; deploring, however, her 
manifold sins, of which that of perjury appeared in her 
eyes the most heinous, and which she seemed to believe 
was the only sin never to be forgiven. Before I left her, 
she presented to me her third husband, the ferocious 
Nuttal, to whom she had recently united herself, and who 
frankly offered me his hand, which I begged to decline. 

Upon this he swore, might perdition snatch him away, 
if I were not one of the noblest spirits that ever carried a 
sword. ce By the soul of man, Mr. Savage," said he, 
" you do right. Before I would grasp the cinque of a man 
in fellowship, who had stood in a witness-box to swear 
my life away, I'd " here he paused, apparently un- 
able at the moment to choose the destination or to select 
the office to which he would not rather submit himself. 
cc How is your friend, Mr. Gregory, sir ? " he inquired 
after a pause. 

I answered that he was very well. 

" I am glad to hear it — a brave spirit — a brave 
spirit. By the soul of man, I respect you both, from 
point to hilt. To be sure, I did swear hard against you 
both,'' (here his wife cast up her eyes) " but could a man 
do less for the friend he loved ? Mr. Sinclair was my 
friend, and as noble a spirit as ever drew cold iron. As 
for the threats I uttered — breath — breath. The dog 



378 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



barks — who heeds him ? He can't bite while his mouth 
is open. Will you sit out a bottle with me, Mr. Savage ? " 

" I have no time/' said I, cc I am engaged." 

C( And no inclination/' he returned ; " right — right, 
on my soul, you're right. My service to you. Mrs. Nut- 
tal, your best curtsy to Mr. Savage." 



CHAPTER VI. 

RICHARD SAVAGE MAKES THE ACQUAINTANCE AND SECURES THE 
FRIENDSHIP OF A WORTHY PEER, AND IS FOR THE PRESENT 
RAISED OUT OF WANT INTO AFFLUENCE. 

I waited upon Lord Tyrconnel punctually at his ap- 
pointed time. I have mentioned that his lordship had 
been very civil to me on several occasions when I had met 
him at taverns and coffee-houses, and that he appeared in 
my favour on the trial. There was no diminution of cor- 
diality in his reception of me now ; on the contrary, he 
was excessively friendly, himself setting me a chair, and 
kindly complaining that I had not before visited him. 
W e talked for some time on general topics ; at length, 
drawing forth his pocket-book, his lordship selected from 
amongst other documents my two letters to my mother, 
and holding them towards me said, with a smile, — 

ce You know these, I presume. Mrs, Brett has put 
them, and their enclosures, into my hands. Oh ! they 
are too severe. Upon my soul, now, too bitter, Mr. 
Savage/' 

" The degree of bitterness is best decided by the pro- 
vocation," I returned. " They are not too bitter, my 
lord, I assure you. Nay, they were not written to 
wound her feelings, but to excite her fears. I designed 
them as a punishment, not as a correction. You do not 
know, my lord, how basely I have been treated by this 
lady." 

" I believe I know all/' he replied ; " the glosses she 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



379 



puts upon her own conduct I can see through, and despise. 

But now " he paused, but presently added, " come, 

what do you say, sir : what is to be done ? " 

" To say the truth, my Lord," said I, drawing myself 
up, " what is to be done by Mrs. Brett, or what will be 
done, I know not, — all I am clear upon at present is, as 
to what I myself intend to do, should that person resolve 
to do nothing. Those letters signify my course of action. 
But I take it for granted — or you had not summoned me 
hither — that you have some proposal to make to me from 
the lady." 

« Why, no direct proposal/' he answered. " The case 
is this, Savage. We — that is to say, myself and her other 
relations, are more solicitous about her reputation than she 
herself appears to be ; not but I believe your threats have 
in no small measure frightened her. But, I suspect, she 
doubts whether you will carry them into effect. She gives 
you credit, you see, for a generosity and forbearance she 
certainly has no claim to." 

I could not help breaking forth at this. se Execrable 
and inexplicable woman ! " cried I. " By the living God ! 
Lord Tyrconnel, she may expect no further lenity from 
me. I concur to the commission of her crimes, while I 
continue the submissive subject of them. What the world 
knows through myself and others of her conduct, I cannot 
recall, nor would I recall it if I could. But she may yet 
buy my silence for the time to come. Her money shall 
render me as mute as though I were in the grave, to which 
she has twice endeavoured to bring me. But tell her from 
me, my lord, that no time — that no money — though a 
hundred years were required to the telling of it — can, or 
if it could, shall abate the disgust, the contempt, the ab- 
horrence with which she has filled my soul." 

" I shall tell her no such thing," said he, laughing ; 
" your warmth contradicts your words. My object is, 
since peace between you is hopeless, to establish a truce. 
But first let me know whether you really have ever given 
her reasonable cause of offence." 

"You shall judge, sir, for yourself," said L " To 
enable you to do so, it will be necessary that I make you 



380 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



acquainted with all that has,, at any time, passed between 
us." 

cc I am impatient to hear it." 

I satisfied his impatience on the instant. It was a long 
story ; but my companion paid the utmost attention to it, 
frequently enlivening it by interjectional comments that 
redounded very little to the honour of Mrs. Brett. " I 
would thank you, my lord, for a moral to this pretty 
story," said I, in conclusion, laughing lightly ; <e don't you 
think an attractive novel might be written upon it ? What 
say you ? Shall we put our materials into the hands of 
Mrs. Haywood ? A pity Mrs. Manley is dead. She would, 
I think, have managed it with more art." 

cc O God ! don't talk so," cried his lordship, with a 
shudder. He fell into a long contemplation. " 1 do not 
know/' said he, at length, " whether what I am going to 
tell you will change your wrath against your mother into 
pity, or whether it will not rather cause you to hate her 
more." 

ce That is very unlikely, my lord," said I. 

Si I understand you. You mean, that is impossible. 
You would, at least, be glad to be told why she has treated 
you as she has done ? " 

ec Certainly I should not shut my ears against such a 
communication/' I replied ; u though, to say the truth, I 
feel little desire to hear it. The reason she alleges is pro- 
bably false." 

c: It is too characteristic to be so, I think," he replied. 
<c You will readily believe that she never loved her first 
husband, and perhaps you will concede the possibility that 
she might have laved Earl Rivers. There cannot be a 
doubt of it; since for his sake she was willing to risk, nay 
she voluntarily made a sacrifice of her reputation. She 
has been condemned for having made the avowal that led 
to the divorce, but in my opinion very unjustly. It is 
true, it was on the faith of a promise of marriage, made 
to her by Lord Rivers when the divorce was obtained, that 
she was induced to confess her disgrace ; but whatever 
were her motives, I cannot but believe she acted rightly. 
It would never have done, Mr. Savage," here his lordship 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



381 



assumed an important air, "to impose a supposititious 
heir upon a noble family. I will not blame her for not 
having done that." 

" Nor I, my lord ; although it seems I am to be the 
sufferer alike by her virtue and her vice. But when one 
comes to think of it, no great harm had been done, either. 
I fancy some of our nobility had been all the better for a 
little imposition. Their legitimates do them small honour, 
sometimes." 

" Ha ! very well — very well, indeed," said he ; ee but 
let me go on. After the divorce, your mother naturally 
expected that Lord Rivers would fulfil an engagement to 
which he had set his solemn word of honour, and rescue 
her from an infamy into which, for his sake alone, she had 
plunged herself ; but this his lordship absolutely refused 
to do. What says Mr. Congreve ? — 

' Earth knows no rage like love to hatred turn'd, 
Nor hell a fury like a woman scorn'd.' 

She is not a woman to supplicate. Her pride was as in- 
tense as her love. The knife did not reach his heart — 
the fury was dragged from his throat. He survived her 
vengeance, nor was it ever known that she had attempted 
his life. Her hatred died not with him, but has been 
transferred to you." 

I must bear it, as I have borne it, as well as I can," 
I replied ; cc but not as heretofore, without a consideration. 
Look you, my lord, this lady-mother of mine derives as 
much delight from hating me, as your common vulgar 
mothers do from loving their children. Now, some of the 
young hopefuls make their parents pay pretty smartly for 
their love ; and I know not why I shouldn't tax the hate 
of Mrs. Brett, which is all the more likely to last in con- 
sequence. But I will not be unreasonable with her. Cast 
your eye over my conditions. It will not cost her much 
— a mere trifle — not worth mentioning to a lady of her 
spirit and liberality." 

" I am sorry to hear you talk in this forced strain,'' 
said Lord Tyrconnel. " I had thought what I have been 
telling you might have weighed with you in her favour. 



382 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



She was basely wronged by Lord Rivers. Her conduct to 
you, bad as it has been, and indefensible as it is, is not 
beyond human forgiveness when the provocation is con- 
sidered. It is at least intelligible." 

i( To me, it is not so, my lord. On the contrary, you 
have shown me a character that I hardly supposed could 
exist, except in a novel or a play. I thought she was 
merely wicked ; — you have told me she is a fool. Pardon 
me, sir, when I tell you that Mrs. Brett has cajoled you. 
She is no such fool. She hates me, but not because Lord 
Rivers was a very sad fellow. Her's is the common cant 
of those who, being heavily laden with sin, are for others 
carrying it." 

He shook his head. ec She married Colonel Brett, that 
she might expunge the memory of her shame. You were 
placed out of the way, and in a short time she heard with 
delight, that you — the witness, the proof of her shame, 
were dead. Consider, how galling to a woman of her spirit, 
after an interval of so many years, to undergo that shame 
anew." 

{ * Let her consider that that was no fault of mine. 
Sometimes, nay, often, I wish to heaven I had never known 
my parents — that Lady Mason had left me in the hands 
of the poor wretches to whom I was entrusted — that I 
had never sought a mother, or never found one ! But 
now, my lord, be pleased to let me know, why I have been 
summoned hither." 

" I will tell you in a few words," he returned. " You 
are a man of sense and spirit, Savage ; and, accordingly, I 
make little doubt that you will at once see and feel the 
force of the appeal I am about to make to you. Mrs. 
Brett has many relations — all persons of honour and 
condition. You know what a world it is. Any public 
exposure of your mother, such as you have threatened, 
however she might carry it, would wound us deeply. 
The dnfamy would be reflected upon us. Now, I ask you, 
whether you can consent to pursue your revenge upon her, 
knowing that you will injure us, more than you can punish 
her. Hitherto, we have not interfered, because we felt 
you had an indisputable right — as we acknowledge yon 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



383 



still have — to resist her persecution. But now — it is a 
question that I wish you seriously to take to heart — have 
you not already gone far enough ? To proceed further 
— would it be to your honour, and therefore to your ad- 
vantage ? I could say much more — but I see I have 
said sufficient. Her relations, of whom I am one, hope 
for your forbearance." 

I hesitated ; but it was only for a moment. I could 
never resist an appeal to my generosity. (Sayest thou 
ce No " — man of much length of visage, who art all for 
virtue in laced clothes, and with whom poverty is the worst 
vice under heaven, albeit thy incarnate Maker when he 
came upon the world to save it — even thy very poor soul 
with the rest — had not where to lay his head — sayest 
thou " No/' I repent ? I tell thee then, long-face, thou 
liest.) I never could resist an appeal to my generosity. 

" You have said sufficient, my lord," I answered — 
fc and I thank you, that you have said it. Revenge is 
blind, or sees nothing between itself and its object. I will 
confess the truth to you. Necessity alone set me upon 
this work, which hereby I renounce. But that want in- 
cited me, I had disdained this pitiful wrangling with a 
wretch so despicable. Your timely remonstrance has saved 
her. Her relations need be under no further apprehen- 
sions. I desist." 

" This," cried Lord Tyrconnel, his eyes glistening, " is 
generous beyond expectation. You have done yourself 
great honour." He came towards me and shook me cor- 
dially by the hand. " We must be better acquainted. 
You must do me yet one further favour." 

" I cannot conjecture how I can be of service to Lord 
Tyrconnel." 

" By making my house your home," he replied. Ci I 
hope to be distinguished as the friend of Mr. Savage, and I 
shall study to deserve his friendship. Your merit has 
been proclaimed, but it must be seen as well as known. 
I will allow you two hundred a year till my interest, 
which, I must whisper it in your ear, is considerable with 
the ministry, obtains an independent appointment for you. 
You shall have your own apartments, your own servants, 



384 



RTCHARD SAVAGE. 



and your own time at command, of which last, I hope you 
will give me as much as you can spare. There cart he no 
friendship where there is no equality. Let it be clearly 
understood, then, that you are to consider yourself in all 
respects as your own master, and my house as your own. 
I would solicit no man's friendship whose advantage I 
studied, upon other terms ; least of all would I insult you 
by proposing them/' 

I believe I have set down the very words of Lord Tyr- 
connel. I was amazed and affected by his so noble, so 
disinterested munificence. My face spoke my thanks, 
before my tongue could articulate a syllable. He stopped 
my acknowledgments by placing his hand upon my mouth. 

" Not a word, I insist/' said he ; " the obligation is on 
my side. Let us remember we are cousins, till we become 
friends. The links of friendship are stronger than the 
ties of blood. You accept my offer ? " 

" With thanks — with gratitude, my lord." 

" Lord me no lords. Here, take this," handing me 
familiarly a bank-bill of a hundred pounds, " six months 
in advance. You see I am a man of business." Then 
surveying me, " How is this ? you do not plead guilty 
after a King's pardon, sir ? I hope the late unhappy pas- 
sage in your life has not caused you to forswear carrying a 
sword ? " 

(( To say the truth," I returned, in some confusion, u I 
was in such haste to keep my appointment with your 
lordship, that I forgot it." (But the real truth is, that 1 
had surrendered it to the pawnbroker a month before.) 

" You must gratify me by wearing this," said his lord- 
ship, going into an inner room and presently returning with 
a silver-hilted sword, which he placed in my hands. 

It was now settled that I should take up my abode with 
him at the expiration of a few days, by which time I 
should have completed such arrangements as were necessary 
to my appearance in the quality of a gentleman. 

" By the by, one word more with you," said he. when 
I was taking my leave. " Mrs. Brett appears very solicit- 
ous to know what is become of a young lady — Miss Wil- 
fred, the daughter of Sir Richard Steele, who was many 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



385 



years under her charge. Your mother, I have reason to 
believe, was greatly attached to the young lady." 

6i It will be a consolation to her, then, to know/' I an- 
swered, " that Miss Wilfred is, and has been for a long 
time past, in honourable hands. Miss Wilfred is living 
with the Countess of Hertford. I thought Mrs. Brett 
knew as much ; and yet, probably, Sir Richard was too 
much offended with her, as he well might be, to satisfy her 
upon the point." 

6e Did you see Steele before he retired to Wales ? " 

« I did not." 

" When I last saw him, he spoke with affectionate 
kindness of you, and shed tears, .as he did so. His resent- 
ment ceased long since." 

(C Had I known that," I replied, " I would have waited 
upon him, and taken a farewell of my friend and benefac- 
tor. I loved him ever, and it is a happiness to me to know 
that he remembered me with kindness." 

(c Pardon me," said his lordship, after a pause, " per- 
haps I am impertinently curious, but was there not at one 
time a kind of engagement subsisting between Miss Wil- 
fred and yourself ? " 

" There was, and is. It still subsists.' ' 

u I really am too free, cousin Savage/' said his lord- 
ship laughing and rubbing his chin — (( but you will for- 
give me. To what does that engagement tend ? " 

c( You cannot doubt, my lord ? " I inquired in surprise. 

iC I do not know." 

" To the approved consummation of such contracts — 
old fashioned but still fashionable matrimony." 

" Matrimony ! " with a stare and a whistle. " What 
in the name of the twelve tribes of Israel put matrimony 
into your head ? " 

I returned his stare — tC My lord ! " 

" Come, come," said he, " you look as grave as though 
you were already married. I meant nothing. Marriage 
is an honourable estate." 

" Your lordship is married, I believe ? " I observed. 

" Why — yes," with a comical shrug. " Young men 
must be fools, else there would be no wise old ones. But, 
c c 



386 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



hang it ! you mustn't think of it yet. Dick Savage — the 
gay, the lively, the elegant Dick Savage — the salt, the soul 
of society, trudging sun-sodden on the Sabbath to Islington 
fields, with an armful of the next generation ! Gods ! It 
must not be." 

There was little delicacy in this speech, nor was it well 
spoken, but it passed. I laughed in concert with the wit, 
although not quite so heartily, and we parted the best 
friends in life. 



CHAPTER VII. 

IN WHICH RICHARD SAVAGE DOES NOT APPEAR TO THE BEST AD- 
VANTAGE ; AND WHEREIN THE READER WILL SEE THE LAST OF 
A STRANGE CHARACTER. 

During the first year of my residence with Lord Tyrcon- 
nel, no man could exercise the offices of friendship with 
more scrupulous delicacy — with a more heedful regard to 
my feelings, and to his own dignity, than his lordship. 
Thus much I owe it to truth and to justice to record. The 
original terms of our connexion he did not once invade or 
infringe. He expressed, and I think he felt, the utmost 
friendship for me — the greatest pleasure in my society — 
the sincerest anxiety for my ease and comfort, the most 
zealous desire for my welfare and advancement. To sup- 
pose me insensible to treatment like this (the supposition 
has often taken the form of an assertion, which I regard 
not) is to suppose me a heartless monster. I was grateful 
to him, and he knew it — grateful as one man should be 
to another who befriends him, and does it handsomely. 

In this interval of prosperity, I found leisure to com- 
plete a poem, begun long before, which I entitled, " The 
Wanderer/' Its purpose, I know, is in the highest degree 
moral. It attempts to show, and successfully as I think, 
that misery, while it chastens, purifies the mind ; that ad- 
versity strengthens the character; and that out of fleeting 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



387 



woe proceeds lasting happiness. I had not suffered in vain. 
I had been a worse man had I never been made to feel how 
difficult it is to continue a good one in adversity. 

It is not for me to prate of my own performance. Thus 
much, however, I will say, that the world remains my 
debtor for that poem, and that the man who could write it, 
whatever be his faults, or however great they may have 
been, is entitled to give " the lie, the loud lie/' as old 
Massinger says, to any smug-souled rascal, who, on the 
strength of a sluggish pulse, and a dwelling in decencies, 
presumes to tell the author of " The Wanderer," that he 
has never practised virtue, or that he does not reverence 
goodness. 

I dedicated " The Wanderer " to Lord Tyrconnel, in a 
strain of fervent encomium which nothing but the strength 
and sincerity of my gratitude could excuse. If I am con- 
scious of any motive to the expression of so extravagant a 
praise of my patron as is to be found in that dedication, 
beyond what the impulse of my then present feelings 
towards him prompted me to utter, it is a desire to please 
Lady Tyrconnel by the exaltation of her husband. Of the 
excellence of this lady, of her sisterly regard, I might 
almost term it affection for me, time shall never efface the 
remembrance from my bosom. 

I sold the copyright of the ee The Wanderer " for ten 
guineas, a very inconsiderable sum, viewed as a payment 
for labour ; but which an immediate, although a momen- 
tary, want of money disposed me to accept. And yet, pal- 
try as this sum was, Johnson, several years afterwards, got 
no more for his poem of Ci London," a performance which, 
if it possess less of the u vivida vis " — less of the drawn 
lightning than is to be found in Pope's satires, undoubtedly 
excels each and all of the productions of the latter in grave, 
manly, and majestic dignity. 

It may be taken for granted that the fame I obtained by 
the publication of my poem elevated me not less in my 
own estimation than in the opinion of the world ; it will 
be believed, also, that my success made the small wits more 
determinately my professed enemies, and that I took no 
pains to concilitate their regard, or to assuage their malice, 
c c 2 



388 



RICHARD SAVAGE, 



Indeed,, I was so much above them, and beyond the reach 
of their poor devices, that I ridiculed and despised them. 

In the mean time, I paid frequent visits to Elizabeth — 
the one being in the world who loved me, and to whom, there- 
fore, I could impart my hopes, my expectations, and my 
feelings, in the assurance of sincere and perfect sympathy. 
She was delighted with the favourable reception my poem 
had met with, and predicted that I should, at no distant 
period, establish a very high reputation in the world of 
letters. It was perfectly understood between us, tbat we 
were to be married so soon as Lord Tyrconnel kept his 
word with me, of which, latterly, I had somewhat impor- 
tunately reminded him, and which was, that he would ob- 
tain a lucrative appointment for me from Sir Robert Wal- 
pole ; — a man, to say the truth, of whose politics I had 
no admiration, for whose person I had little regard, and of 
whose conversation I had the utmost disgust and abhor- 
rence. Nevertheless, he could bestow a place as well as a 
better man ; he had passed his word to Lord Tyrconnel 
that he would do something for me, and to do him justice, 
he had the reputation of being a strict observer of bis 
promise. 

It was not until my visits to my mistress had continued 
for a considerable time, that I perceived, or fancied that I 
perceived, a coldness toward me on the part of Lady Hert- 
ford ; a sedate formality of deportment, perfectly within 
the rules of good breeding, but which partook more of 
dignity than politeness, although, in my opinion, there was 
not very much of either. This appearance troubled me 
but little ; indeed, it is possible I should not have observed 
it, only that I could not but detect a reserve — a constraint 
— a confusion in Elizabeth, whilst Lady Hertford was 
present, for which I could not account, and of which, at 
length, therefore, I set myself upon learning the reason. 
There was as much tenderness at parting, in her eyes and 
in her manner, and a more serious and affecting softness of 
voice, so that I was constantly assured of the continuance 
of her entire affection. It was clear to me that to the coun- 
tess I must refer the cause of this mysterious behaviour. 

I seized an opportunity one evening, when we were alone, 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



ssg 



of acquainting Elizabeth with the extent of my observ- 
ations, and earnestly begged her to tell me in what manner 
I had offended Lady Hertford, that I might at once put 
myself in the way of recovering her esteem and confidence. 

My appeal embarrassed her greatly. I remarked, bow- 
ever, that her embarrassment arose less from confusion than 
concern. 

u I was not aware," she said, €c that you had noticed 
any change in the demeanour of Lady Hertford towards 
you ; neither do I know that you have given her any cause 
of offence — consciously, I am sure you have not." 

" What, then, is the cause of her coldness ? Tell me 
all, I entreat you." 

cc I shall not offend you, Richard ?" 

" Impossible." 

" Her ladyship, then, has of late frequently expresssed 
her fears to me that you are leading too dissipated a life, 
and that you may fall into habits of expense, and self- 
gratification, that may be injurious to you hereafter. She 
says " 

" Many wise things, doubtless," interrupted I, gaily : 
c: a pity the text is not more worthy of the comment. Do 
you partake her fears, Elizabeth ? " 

" I do not," she answered, readily. u I know the stability 
of your principles, and the rectitude of your mind. The 
author of c The Wanderer,' " she added, with a glow of 
generous warmth, Ci can never suffer himself to be betrayed 
into vulgar excesses, at which Lady Hertford hints — or 
vicious indulgences, of which his writings proclaim his 
abhorrence. No, you have been a sufferer ; but you never 
will be a victim — least of all to yourself." 

Sweet enthusiast ! to have loved thee is, indeed, to have 
loved virtue, and in its loveliest shape. 

C( And this is all ! " cried I ; " how proud and grateful I 
ought to be, that Lady Hertford condescends to betray so 
friendly a solicitude for my well-doing. I must positively 
return her my acknowledgments." 

" I am angry with myself," said Elizabeth, after a pause, 
seating herself by my side, " that I have so long withheld 
from you what I am about to tell you." 

c c 3 



390 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



She spoke this in so serious a voice, that I could but gaze 
upon her in silence. 

" Lady Hertford," she resumed, " has been very press- 
ing with me for some time past — so much so, I confess, 
that I am made unhappy by her importunities — to break 
the engagement between us." 

cc Ha ! and upon what plea? — for what reason? — the 
one you mentioned ? " 

" She urges that. But there is a gentleman — a Mr. 
Grantley — " 

" A Mr. Grantley ! — And he is all that may be wished 
for, I'll be sworn/' said I, with a sneer ; " such a hand- 
some man ! such a rich man ! such a worthy roan ! — 
Naughty girl ! to think of wicked Mr. Savage : you should 
meditate upon good Mr. Grantley ! But this device is 
grandmotherly, my Elizabeth. Add all my good qualities 
to Mr. Grantley, and transfer all his bad ones to me, and a 
taking contrast is presented. I am much obliged to her 
ladyship. But tell me, who is this Mr. Grantley ? A 
gentleman of figure, of course ? " 

" He is." 

" Is he rich ? " 

ce He is said to be so." 

" Handsome ? " 

cc Very." 

I was startled by so prompt a reply. 
c: You do not love him, Elizabeth ? " I inquired at 
length, looking, as I conjecture, very much like a booby. 
6C Fie ! what a question ! " she replied. 
" Abrupt — but I hope " 

" You know I do not," she said, interrupting me, and 
laying her hand upon mine. u I want your advice. I 
know not how to carry myself in this unpleasant affair. 
Lady Hertford begins to be exceedingly, painfully im- 
portunate with me. You know my obligations to her ; 
and Mr. Grantley, although I have informed him I am 
under an engagement to another, still persists " 

e( In smirking, and sighing, and dropping his eyelids, 
and looking at his hat, and shrugging his shoulders, and 
hanging over chair-backs. Poor man ! why do you smile 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



391 



at the picture of so pitiful a rogue ? I'll hazard a shrewd 
guess, now, that he hopes time may induce you to look 
with favour upon him — that he is perfectly sensible how 
unworthy he is of so much honour, of so great a happiness ; 
and yet " 

Ci I am sorry I smiled at your whimsical description," 
said she. (< Do not ridicule the misplaced affection of a 
worthy and honourable man, who deserves, I'm sure, a 
better woman than your Elizabeth ; and who, I sincerely 
hope, will meet with one." 

" I have no great opinion of that man's worth," I re- 
plied, "who persists in persecuting a lady with his ad- 
dresses, and who would fain have her break her engage- 
ment to another. My love, this must not continue. I 
will seek an interview with Lady Hertford. She is a 
woman of sense and feeling. It cannot be, after the re- 
presentations I shall make to her, that you will be put to 
any further pain on this gentleman's account." 

I sought an early occasion of waiting upon Lady Hert- 
ford. I told her, without reserve, what had been imparted 
to me by Elizabeth ; and reminding her of her knowledge 
of the existence of the contract between that young lady 
and myself, and of the approval she had formerly given 
to it, I ventured to inquire how it came to pass that she 
should set herself in the way of its fulfilment. 

She heard me with attention, and with an unmoved 
countenance. She replied nearly as follows : — 

" When my friend, Sir Richard Steele, waited upon me, 
and opened to me his perplexity in relation to Miss Wil- 
fred, whom he had been compelled to withdraw from the 
house of Mrs. Brett, I consented at once to receive her 
into my family. I have had cause to congratulate myself 
upon having done so. I intended a service to Sir Richard ; 
I have gained a blessing to myself. Miss Wilfred is a 
most admirable young lady. I love her as a mother, or 
rather " — here her ladyship bridled — ee as an elder sister 
might do. I feel that I ought to interest myself in her 
welfare and happiness. I feel, also, that I have, in some 
sort, a right to counsel, and, if necessary, to direct her. I 
must not be interrupted. I confess, Sir Richard's cha- 
c c 4 



392 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



racter of you, joined to your peculiar misfortunes, pleaded 
strongly for you in my favour ; and I acknowledge that, 
for a long time, I believed the happiness of Miss Wilfred 
might be safely entrusted to your keeping ; but — " she 
paused. 

" I have been anxiously waiting for the c but/ madam," 
said I, with an easy smile ; ee I saw the rogue all along ; 
though, as he always does, he skulked behind his betters. 
Let me hear, I beseech you, what the disparaging con- 
junction has to say for himself, or against me." 

<e Your levity displeases me," returned Lady Hertford, 
stiffly. " I, Mr. Savage, have to say this — Whatever 
hopes I might formerly have entertained of you, have been 
disappointed, long since. I have been told, and I believe 
you cannot deny, that your excesses — I will say no more. 

sir, you are not worthy of Miss Wilfred ! " 

I could not deny that I had launched out into all the 
pleasures within my reach. I had never sought to with- 
hold my passions from any gratification they could lay 
hold upon. My pride was no mongrel of the pack. Her 
ladyship awoke it. 

%e I presume to remind your ladyship," said I, " that 
my conduct, whatever it be, and however it may stand in 
need of it, is not subject to your revision. Let me recall 
to your ladyship's mind, likewise, that Miss Wilfred, al- 
though under your protection, is not at your disposal. I 
am far from believing that your ladyship would attempt 
to persecute Miss Wilfred into a compliance with your 
wishes. Pardon me, I had never thought it possible that 
Lady Hertford and Mrs, Brett could be associated in my 
mind for one instant." 

" I will not hear a word against Mr. Grantley ! " ex- 
claimed the countess, in some heat. " Mr. Grantley is a 
man of honour, and of virtue/' with an emphasis ; (( Mrs. 
Brett and myself, I thank you, sir, offer no points of 
comparison. I shall not persecute Miss Wilfred. Her 
good sense will, in time, acknowledge the justness of my 
decision ; and to that shall I appeal, and upon that will 

1 rely." 

" Your ladyship will hardly be called upon for your 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



393 



decision/' I replied. " Miss Wilfred has consented to 
place herself under my protection, until my affairs assume 
a stability which will warrant me in fulfilling a contract 
which Miss Wilfred considers as equally binding upon 
herself as upon me. How reluctantly she has been brought 
to this step you may imagine, who know her grateful na- 
ture, and how much cause she has of gratitude towards 
you. She herself, doubtless, will assure you of the deep 
and lasting sense she entertains of your goodness." 
Lady Hertford was thunderstruck. 

" Good heavens, sir ! Do you mean to say ? " 

" Yes, madam, I do," interrupted I, impatiently ; " and 
to justify the decision to which Miss Wilfred has come, 
and to avow that my earnest persuasion has prevailed with 
her." 

e< Surely she can never be so thoughtless — so mad!" 
she replied. 

She took two or three turns about the room. My in- 
telligence had greatly discomposed her. I watched her 
countenance. I perceived concern for Elizabeth upon it, 
which was gradually dismissed to make way for anger 
against me. 

" You protect Miss Wilfred ! " she cried, at length ; 
" and how, supposing confidence might be placed in your 
honour " 

" Madam!" 

" I repeat it. I say, if confidence might be placed in 
your honour, how are you to protect Miss Wilfred ? you 
who are yourself indebted to protection which may be in 
a moment recalled? You, who owe your existence to 
Lord TyrconneFs charity — his bounty — his benevolence 
— his friendship " 

Lady Hertford had gone too far. These qualifying 
substitutions of phrase were made with a heightened co- 
lour, reflected, as it seemed, from my burning cheeks. I 
gulped down my rising choler. Placing my hand upon 
my breast, I made her a low bow. 

" Your ladyship is very considerate. But for Lady 
Hertford, I might have forgotten my dependent situation. 
Lord Tyrconnel never reminds me of it. Your ladyship, 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



I conclude, frequently relieves Miss Wilfred from all 
danger of forgetting her obligations.' ' 

I had woundeded her to the quick, and was sorry that 
I had done so. Her ladyship's face expressed shame and 
contrition. 

" I am afraid, Mr. Savage, I have hurt your feelings. 
Your answer was severe, but I deserved it. Pardon me;" 
so saying, she extended her hand. 

I raised it to my lips, and without a word withdrew. 
She was mistaken. She had not hurt my feelings, or but 
little. Feelings may be pinched till they become numbed ; 
and many a horny thumb and forefinger had wrung mine 
already. 

But I was not to have my own way so easily as I had 
thought. Elizabeth had not expressly consented to place 
herself under my protection. Such was her veneration for 
Lady Hertford, and so fearful was she of offending her, or 
of appearing ungrateful — so convinced, also, was she that 
her ladyship was actuated by the sincerest friendship to- 
wards her, (for Grantley, to do him justice, was a man of 
as much merit as fortune,) that I had the utmost difficulty 
in conquering her scruples. She herself was sensible of 
Grantley's pretensions. She acknowledged his excellent 
and exemplary qualities. She admired the spirit, the 
vivacity, the ease of his conversation. She admitted that 
his behaviour towards her was, upon all occasions, most 
polite and respectful. 

" There was no gentleman," she said, f< for whom she 
had a higher esteem, or whose friendship she was more 
anxious to retain. " 

" Upon such sentiments alone is happiness in the mar- 
riage state founded, my love," said Lady Hertford, " and 
by these only is it secured." As she said this, she turned 
to me with an expression of countenance intended to be 
wise, but which was merely owlish. 

" I thought love was an ingredient," said I, carelessly. 
ic Your ladyship would inoculate Miss Wilfred with your 
small happiness, that she may take it mildly now, and 
never catch it afterwards." 

" I hope, sir/' she replied, " Miss Wilfred will never 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



395 



have cause to regret the honour she is about to confer upon 
you. I trust you will be as happy with Miss Wilfred as 
Mr. Grantley would have been ; and that she will be as 
happy with you, as she would have been with him. I 
have pleaded his cause strongly, I confess ; and I have 
not spared you. My affection for this dear girl must be 
my excuse. Let me see that I have been mistaken in you." 

Words ! words ! To square one's conduct to the limi- 
tary exactions of middle-aged ladies of title, who pride 
themselves upon their good sense ! e( Mistaken in me ! " 
and why had she been mistaken in me? — Because she 
could not comprehend me ; and yet, no man more easily 
comprehended. I hate these dull deciders, who pronounce 
that vice, which is but the trick of the vein, and think 
warm blood and animal spirits immoral. I would rather 
fetch dew (i from the still-vexed Bermoothes," than sit by 
a standing pool and meditate on chickweed ! 

Lady Hertford's opposition to my scheme being with- 
drawn, I proceeded to put it in execution without delay. 
I hired a handsome and commodious lodging for Elizabeth. 
The house was situated in an agreeable and fashionable 
quarter of the town, and was kept by a widow lady — a 
Mrs. Phillips — a most respectable woman, and, in a word, 
in every way not only unexceptionable but excellent. 

This step was highly approved by Lady Hertford, who 
came to inspect the lodging, and to satisfy herself as to 
the character of the good woman of the house. She pro- 
mised frequent visits, and made them. Elizabeth renewed 
her friendship with Mrs. Gregory, who, with her husband, 
frequently called upon her, and who, as often, invited her 
to their house. Langley, then just become Sir Edward, 
and his lady, also condescended to wait upon her, and 
were pleased in a very ceremonious manner to express a 
wish that she would honour them with her company for a 
month at their country-house ; but as there was reason to 
believe this was intended merely for civility, the visit was 
never paid. 

Dear old Daniel Myte, with whose fooleries I have, I 
fear, in the preceding pages, wearied the reader ; albeit, 
to record them_, has been to " interpose a little ease " be- 



396 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



tween the wearisome labour I have entailed upon myself, 
and which, having gone so far, I shall not not intermit till 
it be completed — one further word concerning thee ! 

I had not seen Gregory for some time, when he called 
upon me one day in deep mourning, and informed me that 
both Myte and his wife were dead. 

6C You were aware," said he, " that Mrs. Myte had 
been ailing weeks past, and that the poor little man had 
taken a lodging for her at Edgeware, which he said was 
just far enough to make the smoke of London airy, and 
the air of the country smoky. He had no suspicion that 
bis wife was dying ; indeed, as you know, he never thought 
of death, and could not bear to hear it mentioned. When 
she died, (we were all present, Langley and his wife, 
myself and Martha,) a stupefaction came over him. He 
could not believe she was dead — he would not — it could 
not be. The preparations necessary on these occasions re- 
stored him to consciousness, and enforced belief upon him. 
It was a piteous sight to see this man, unacquainted with 
sorrow, receive this heavy affliction. I will not shock you 
with the description/' Here Gregory was much troubled, 
and could not proceed. 

" Go on — go on — my heart bleeds for the little fel- 
low." 

" His screams," continued Gregory, iC screams like those of 
a woman, were heard throughout the house — nay they filled 
it. His daughters, terrified, you may be sure, endeavoured 
on their knees, clasping his, to soothe him, imploring him 
to bear his sorrows like a man ; but he spurned them from 
him with blows. At length, he was got to bed, and there 
he lay for four days, rejecting every thing that was offered 
him, refusing comfort, preserving an obstinate, or rather, 
perhaps, an insensible silence. On the evening of the 
fourth day he spoke. ' Where are my girls ? ' I was 
watching by his side. c I will fetch them to you, dear sir.' 
' Is that you, Gregory ? What is the time ? Bring them 
to me. I think I am dying.' That was certain. There 
is no mistaking death. His daughters knelt by his side. 
6 Have you prayed for your poor mother, my darlings ? — 
pray for me, too — death is upon me. Langley — Gregory 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



397 



— all of you — pray for me ! ' We all knelt down. There 
was a long silence. We withdrew from the bed-side, 
thinking that he would sleep. Suddenly, he said these 
words in a loud, articulate, and earnest tone of voice : e I 
want to see Richard Savage.' 

" We looked at each other, doubtful at the moment 
whether the voice had proceeded from him. There was 
something awful — thrilling in the tone. I stept to the 
bedside and bent over him. " He is miles away, dear sir, 
in London.' 

" He took my hand and sighed heavily. c Would he 
were here, poor dear lad ; I want to see him.' 

Ci He turned restlessly in his bed, clasping his hands, 
and holding them above his face. I knew not what to say. 
* I will tell him that you thought kindly of him, dear sir.' 
e Do — do. Oh, my God ! have mercy on me. I am all 
darkness. Tell him to pray for me — all, all pray for me ! ' 
Another sigh — and he was gone." 

I shed many tears during this recital, for I loved the 
man, and not less the good " Flusterina," who had been 
to him the best wife in the world, as, indeed, he deserved 
that she should be ; for there could not be a more tender 
husband or a more indulgent father than Myte. 

" I want to see Richard Savage." And wherefore did 
he want to see me ? This question did not suggest itself 
to me for months afterwards ; and I am almost ashamed 
to avow that it has recurred many times since, as it does 
now, for the last time ; for I will entertain it no more. 
f < Poor dear lad ! " were his words. This is idle. And 
yet will I give the reader a cue to — I will not call them 
my suspicions, but my fancies — I set down the name of 
Ludlow. If this do not suffice, perhaps I am glad of it. 
Rest in peace, Daniel Myte ! Between thee and Richard 
Savage there is peace ! 



39$ 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

IN WHICH RICHARD SAVAGE APPEARS TO BE NOT VERY HAND- 
SOMELY TREATED; AND EXHIBITS AN ALACRITY IN RESENTING 
INSULT. 

During six months then last past, I, who had many times 
in the course of my life been upon the very verge of star- 
vation — who, for the chief portion of my existence, had 
been beholden to the friendship of others for my support, 
who was at that very time a dependant upon the bounty of 
another — during six months, I say, had I protected Eli- 
zabeth Wilfred. It was little short of ecstasy, the reflection 
that to me was she indebted (indebted — what a word !) 
for the means of her procuring all that was necessary to 
her life, agreeable to her comfort, or productive of her 
happiness, It was a great addition to my felicity, that 
she never, by words, reminded me of this ; and that, 
whatever she might have felt, she did not display any par- 
ticular sense of dependence in her own case, or of pro- 
tection in mine. None but the base pay these tributes ; 
none but the unworthy expect or accept them. 

What now was wanting to complete and to establish 
our joint happiness. 

Nothing but the fulfilment of his promise, on the part of 
Sir Robert Walpole. But this was not to be. 

Very shortly after Elizabeth had withdrawn herself 
from Lady Hertford, and placed herself under my care, 
I was led to a suspicion that Lord Tyrconnel's favourable 
sentiments towards me were changed. He was some- 
times peevish and captious ; and, upon other occasions, 
there was more off-hand familiarity in his manner of ad- 
dressing me than I well knew how to brook. Pointless 
raillery, rough horse-play, bantering buffoonery, I could 
never endure, and I sometimes told him so ; hinting, that 
if he forgot himself, I must desire that he would remember 
me. Then would he beg my pardon, with " Confound 
you, Dick, for a ceremonious companion ! may not a man 
speak to you ? Put away that sour face. Prithee, be a 
man of this world." 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



At other times, however, as I have said, he was petulant 
and capricious — angry without a cause, or venting it upon 
him who had not given him offence. When he sought to 
vent it upon me, he found not his account in it. Either, 
I returned some reply that stung, while it silenced him, 
or lightly laughed him into a rage, which he dare not show ; 
or, which was worst of all, and sometimes set him almost 
beside himself with passion, I gravely took him to task for 
his unreasonable humours and foolish exhibitions of passion, 
which I told him I could, being a friend, forgive ; but 
which, I cautioned him, if shown before strangers must 
render him ridiculous and contemptible. 

" Reflect, too, my lord/' I would add with much so- 
lemnity, "how by making your own petty vexations, and 
by giving way to these juvenile humours, you disturb your 
own happiness. Trifles cease to be so, if you encourage 
'em. You must not destroy your comfort, which is a great 
part of happiness/' 

How grim would he look at his provoking and inwardly 
chuckling monitor ! 

This, however, was sorry employment. I was ever a 
lover of peace, an advocate for good humour, a promoter of 
conviviality. It is an odious existence, that of living with 
a man who compels you, by his conduct, to keep your 
mind always unsheathed, to check the impertinence of 
familiarity, or to repress the insolence of rank. I began 
to feel — he, indeed, began to make me feel — that I was 
not so much under his protection as subject to his power. 
And now it was that I was set upon reviewing the whole 
course of his behaviour towards me, since I had been an 
inmate of his mansion. It could not be concealed that we 
stood in a very different relative position toward each other, 
from that which he himself had, in the first instance, de- 
fined, and upon the faith of the continuance of which, I 
had consented to accept his patronage. 

I now remembered many things, some trivial enough, 
but one or two of a graver description, which had con- 
tributed to the change of position of which I have spoken. 
Over a narrow bridge one must go first, the other follow ; 
but should the bridge be barely wide enough for two, and 



400 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



they go abreast, if one jostle and the other step aside, the 
latter goes into the stream. 

I should have resisted all encroachment from the first, 
and so I had done, but that it did not appear to me in the 
form of encroachment. Ci Blinded first and then betrayed " 
by gratitude, I was too happy to accommodate myself to 
the wishes of Lord Tyrconnel, and did not stop to reflect 
that sometimes these wishes were unreasonable, and such 
as hardly became him to ask, or me to perform. A request 
would be made to do a certain thing, as a favour. When 
it was done - — behold ! there was a precedent which facili- 
tated a second application and made refusal more difficult. 
But these solicitations, on his part, and compliances on 
mine, were not made and granted until after I had lived 
a considerable period with his lordship, by which time my 
attachment towards him had been strengthened, and our 
intimacy appeared to warrant a frank dealing with me, as 
with a friend. Insensibly, therefore, the change was 
effected, which it was useless to lament, because it was 
impossible to rectify it. The more exacting he became, 
the more punctilious was I. He would have had me 
grovel ; it was then I soared. He would sometimes in- 
directly remind me that I was a dependant ; I would in 
the same manner give him to understand that I honoured 
him with my intimacy. This state of things — this oppo- 
sition of persons — although there was a great deal of out- 
ward respect, of civil leer, of shrug, of grimace — his state 
of things could not last. My equanimity, my patience, 
was fast giving way. 

One day, he had compelled me to break an engagement 
I was under to Gregory, that I might dine with him. I 
would, of course, have gladly excused myself; but he 
pressed me so earnestly and with such apparent friendship, 
that I could not well refuse. It was a small party. To 
one of the guests his lordship begged particularly to intro- 
duce me — Sir Arthur Page ! I could not so easily con- 
ceal my surprise as my resentment. It had become 
habitual to me to repress the latter in Lord Tyrconnel's 
company, that he might not know when his insults were 
effectual. Page w r as evidently astonished, and bowed veij 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



401 



low, to hide his confusion. I but glanced at our judicious 
and considerate host. Such an embarrassing attempt at 
ease ! That Hogarth had seen that rigid smirk — that 
introverted roll of the eye ! I have beheld nothing like it, 
even on his myriad -featured canvass. 

Page, during the evening, treated me with extraordinary 
respect ; and had he been left to his own discretion would 
have avoided any topic that was likely to be distasteful to 
me; but Lord Tyrconnel would not permit this — it was 
for no such purpose he had invited him thither. He 
directed the conversation to the subject of criminal trials ; 
more particularly to such as, in their leading circumstances, 
or in their results, resembled mine. I remember he par- 
ticularly referred to the case of Lord Mohun, who was 
tried for the murder of Mountford, the player. There 
were no points of resemblance between this and my own 
case : but the whole conversation was so managed, on Lord 
Tyrconners side, as to be made extremely offensive to me. 
The rest of the company opened their eyes gravely, pushed 
out their under-lips, and looked at me with a slight shrug, 
indicating their surprise and concern that such a subject 
should be broached in my presence ; and Page himself at 
length abruptly changed the discourse. I had, perhaps, 
taken no immediate notice of this gross insult, but that 
Page — the brute, but not the blockhead — felt it neces- 
sary to exonerate himself from any accusation that might 
lie against him of inventing or participating the pitiful 
wretchedness. 

On leaving, he drew me aside, and very earnestly denied 
all intention of wounding my feelings, denouncing, at the 
same time, the bad taste of his lordship in the choice of so 
ticklish a subject. 

Some degree of forbearance was due to Page on the 
score of his office and of his years, yet I believe no soothing 
speech addressed to me could ever proceed from the old 
rascal's lips, that would not have the effect of awakening 
rather than of lulling my wrath against him. 

I kept down the venom of my spleen with infinite dif- 
ficulty. What I replied I forget ; a spurning expletive 
or two, it may have been, and I think it was. " One might 

D D 



402 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



have lighted a candle by his face/' as I heard Mrs. Short 
say of Carnaby upon one occasion, after she had taxed him 
with the mysterious appropriation of some cold pudding. 

Page went his way without further word, and I betook 
myself to a tavern to take a cool view of the evening's pro- 
ceedings over a bottle of wine. 

I returned late, and hearing that Lord Tyrconnel had 
not retired to bed, but was in his library, I walked up 
thither — knocked, and was admitted. 

Ci Oh, Mr. Savage, is it you ? " said his lordship. " I 
am, as you see, very busy/' he was writing, u and must 
not be interrupted. " 

cc It is but seldom I disturb you, my lord ; to-night 
you will excuse me." I drew a chair, and seating myself 
directly opposite to him, fixed my eyes steadfastly upon 
his face, and said : 

u I want to know, my Lord Tyrconnel, why it is you 
treat me thus ? ,J 

He was probably prepared for remonstrance, but the 
peremptoriness of my tone was something he did not ex- 
pect. He laid down his pen. 

iC What on earth, Savage, do you mean ? " he inquired, 
affecting an ignorance which he could not make his face 
assume. 

" I will tell you/' I replied. " It was at your urgent 
persuasion that I dined with you to-day. You know I 
had previously engaged myself to my oldest and my best 
friend, Mr. Gregory. You are aware that he leaves Eng- 
land the day after to-morrow, for Antigua, and that I 
shall have no opportunity of spending a few hours with 
him. You told me you could not dispense with my com- 
pany — that you expected Sir Robert Walpole, who was, 
you believed, prepared to tell me something definite and 
certain respecting the appointment he has so long promised. 
Well, my lord, instead of Walpole I find Page " 

iC Well," cried he, interrupting me, " and what if you 
do ? I hope I am to be permitted the privilege of invit- 
ing to my own house and to my own table whomsoever I 
please ! Mr. Savage — Mr. Savage — this " 

" This what ? " I returned sharply. " Mr. Savage 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



403 



wants to know why he was introduced by you to Sir Ar- 
thur Page ; whether, by so doing, you intended to affront 
him, and if you did, wherefore he should not resent a 
freedom you presume to take with him, which does not 
come within the scope of your privileges, and which he in- 
tends shall never so come? " 

This speech roused him, but it was only for a moment. 
He returned himself to his former position. Could I have 
beheld his face confessed, which was partially concealed by 
his ringers that he had placed transversely before it, I 
doubt not I should have seen an extremely mean spectacle. 
Why should men put themselves upon committing dirty 
actions until they have renounced shame ? Here was a man 

— a lord — not without pride or destitute of courage, 
afraid, because he was ashamed, to justify a paltry insult, 
of which he should have left the'perpetration to others who 
were without shame or fear. He spoke at last. 

f * I am surprised, sir, greatly surprised to hear you — 
you address me in this strain ! " 

" Probably you are," I replied. ee Perhaps you will 
be more so when I tell you that it is a strain your own 
conduct has forced upon me. I know not whether your 
surprise will be greater or less when I avow to you my 
surprise that you should feel any." 

" How ! — I do not understand ! — But — come, come, 
Savage/' assuming a familiar tone and air, "we won't 
fight till we know the cause of quarrel. There is some 
mistake here. Did I not tell you before dinner, Walpole 
couldn't come ? " 

' 6 You did not ; nor that Page could, and would." 

u Pr'ythee lay aside that sad brow, and voice like the 
click of a trigger," said he. (i What would you have me 
say ? I am sorry we had not Sir Robert ; and as to Page 

— I protest I hadn't the least notion in life that you didn't 
care to see that old Rhadamanthus. Why now, were not 
the man as blind as the justice he misrepresents, he would 
have seen [that my introduction of you to him was a cut- 
ting reproof. Did you mark how I had him in Oneby's 
case ? Not you — I saw you looking as black as a Saxon 
at curfew." 

D D 2 



404 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



After all, their, did he not design to insult me ? Bland 
as he looked — affable and smiling — for he had now per- 
fectly recovered his self-possession — I was assured he did. 
But he had so happily secured himself, that I could say 
nothing at that time. His object was to wear out my 
patience by the friction of petty vexations, incessantly re- 
peated, that when the rupture took place — which he had 
decreed, and I foresaw — . I should have no one grave 
charge to bring against him. 

I accepted his apologies, of which he was profuse, and 
listened to his professions, which were more clamorous 
than usual, with the best grace I could muster ; which, to 
say the truth, was not a little the" worse for wear, and 
which on this night I could hardly prevail upon myself to 
put on at all. I had heard something after I left his hos- 
pitable board that made it difficult to me to speak with 
common civility to him. 

At the tavern to which I had gone,, I met Colonel Cle- 
land, the Will Honeycomb of the Spectator, need I add a 
former friend of Addison, of Steele, and of Brett ? The 
warm-hearted old gentleman, whenever I encountered him, 
commonly confined his inquiries, which were pursued with 
considerable perseverance, to my situation and prospects, 
usually commenting upon my replies in a very doubtful 
and dissatisfied manner. He had many times thrown out 
significant hints that little dependence was to be placed in 
the professions of Lord Tyrconnel, that he was a person 
who studied the dictionary rather than the decalogue ; 
ci more words than worth, Dick," and that he would one 
day make or find an occasion to discard me, if I did not 
get from him some legal settlement. He had always 
shaken his head incredulously, whenever I launched out in 
praise of my patron, and when I urged the two hundred a 
year, he would answer, £C His pocket is none the worse 
of it." 

On this, the last occasion of my seeing him, however, he 
was more explicit. He assured me, he had it from good 
authority that the proposition his lordship made me was 
the result of an understanding between my mother and 
him ; that, terrified by my threats, she felt herself com- 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



405 



pelled to purchase my silence ; but that, too proud to ad- 
mit the compulsion, she had concerted this scheme with 
Lord Tyrconnel, who was not averse from a reputation 
for generosity and munificence, when he could acquire it 
without expense. 

The knowledge of this fact, for fact it is, although from 
that day to this 1 have never been in a situation to prove it, 
had no influence whatever upon my deportment towards 
Lord Tyrconnel, who, on his part, began to be more cir- 
cumspect in his dealings with me. But the rift had been 
made, and every effort to close it gave either side a rocking 
motion, an impetus the wrong way, leaving it wider than 
before. Ere we break asunder, good Lord Tyrconnel, that 
the reader may the less believe that I have done thee in- 
justice, by speaking as I have done of thee, let me tell him 
something of myself. It were not worth my while to speak 
lies of Lord Tyrconnel, after I have decided upon speaking 
the truth of Richard Savage. 



CHAPTER IX. 

WHEREIN RTCHARD SAVAGE ACTS A MOST UNWORTHY PART ; AND 
QUARRELLING WITH HIS PATRON, LEAVES THE READER TO DECIDE 
WHICH IS THE LESS ESTIMABLE PERSON OF THE TWO. 

However fortune may have treated me in the main, it 
must be admitted that in one particular instance, she was in 
the truest sense favourable to me, since to fortune, not to 
any merit of mine, am I to ascribe the preference with 
which Elizabeth Wilfred regarded me. This woman, beau- 
tiful, virtuous, noble-minded ; the very soul of sweetness, 
of sincerity, and of honour ; who, for my sake, had resisted 
the importunities of Mrs. Brett (whom she loved), in favour 
of Sinclair, a man of figure and fortune, whose addresses 
were believed to be honourable ; who had stood firm against 
the solicitations cf Lady Hertford (to whom she was bound 
by ties of the strongest gratitude) in behalf of Mr. Grantley, 
a gentleman, let me say so, of unquestionable pretentions to 

D T> 3 



406 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



the hand of any lady in England — this woman had placed 
herself under my protection, had committed her present and 
future happiness to my care, trustingly, confidingly, abso- 
lutely ; as assured of my love and of my honour, as though 
both had been attested by an angel on the book of life. 

Need I say more ? Yes. Not only was this perfect 
confidence felt, but it was shown ; there was no false deli- 
cacy in Elizabeth Wilfred. Her natural mind, all broad 
simplicity, disdained — rather let me say, was incapable of 

— those arts, the privilege, some think them the decus et 
tutamen, the grace and safety of the sex, by which a lover 
is kept at a due distance. Having owned her love, having 
consented to be mine, her heart with all that it contained 
was unreservedly my own. To have wronged such a being 
as this, even in thought, what must the man be ? Has this 
hand — this hand by which Sinclair fell — no words to 
write that shall describe him — not one ? Sinclair, thou 
art indeed revenged ! 

For three days last past have I hovered over this sheet 
of paper, my pen between my fingers, unable to proceed, 
because unwilling to go on. And yet this unwillingness is 
no offspring of shame (although I am ashamed) or of fear 
(which I do not feel), lest my reader, more virtuous than 
myself, should condemn me for my want of virtue. It 
arises from an utter inability to reconcile the attempt of 
which I was guilty, and which — I must confess the truth 

— I had long meditated, with that opinion of Elizabeth 
which, I declare to heaven, was never impaired. 

During some time — several "weeks — I may date it from 
the period that I had first detected a change in the manner 
of Lord Tyrconnel — my thoughts, if not my intentions, 
with regard to Elizabeth had undergone some alteration. 
As the chance of shortly making her my "wife lessened, so, 
notions (notions merely at first) the tendency of which I 
may safely leave to the reader's discovery, begat, or them- 
selves at length became, designs. 

Can it be that, hating my mother like a curse, suspecting 
that it was at her unnatural instance that Lord Tyrconnel 
bore himself towards me with the insolent freedom of a su- 
perior, knowing that if she retained one soft — (she would 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



407 



call it weak) corner of her heart, it was devoted to Elizabeth 
Wilfred — can it be that this consideration tempted me to 
undermine, to destroy, to murder the happiness of a woman 
whom I loved better than my own soul ? The supposition 
is monstrous. I was not so vile. I had been more likely 
to sluice the blood out of my own, because it had once 
flowed in my mother's veins. 

Is it possible that Lord Tyrconnel's treatment, by wound- 
ing my self-respect, by outraging my pride, had so hunted, 
or to use a common word, had worried all honourable, all 
manly feeling from my bosom, that I must needs seek to 
propagate the villany, and secure at least one person in the 
world over whom I could play the tyrant ? That, also, is 
a supposition not to be maintained. 

Blind passion, a headstrong will, a heart not grown 
callous, but rendered heedless by paltry wrongs just at the 
time that it should have taken most heed — the weakness 
or the fate of violent natures — these it was that impelled 
me ; these that have ever prompted me, urged me, goaded 
me, and ever to my own ruin. 

Although I cannot so distinctly recal it to memory as to 
describe it, a change in my deportment towards Elizabeth 
must have attended the alteration of my views respecting 
her. My visits were as frequent as heretofore, but not so 
prolonged. I remember that I contemplated the departure 
of Gregory and his wife for Antigua with considerable 
satisfaction, which I also recollect (thus do we deceive 
ourselves !) having attributed to a regard for my friend, 
and a solicitude for his happiness and prosperity. Gregory 
had obtained the lucrative appointment of collector of that 
island ; and, it is true, I rejoiced at his good fortune ; (for, 
after all, it seemed, Myte had only a few hundreds to 
leave ; and his father would do little for him) but his wife, 
little Martha — how will she hate me, should she read 
this ! was the constant companion of Elizabeth, her most 
intimate friend ; and while she and her husband remained 
in England, I felt that I had less chance of success in my 
unworthy scheme. (C Chance of success!" I had none 
that any calculation, founded upon her love, could hold 
out to me. The truth is, while Gregory and his wife 
i) i) 4 



408 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



were on the spot, I could not bring myself to play the 
scoundrel. 

Let me not crawl over the scene that is at hand — craw], 
I mean, as to speed ; for to my part in the business the 
word were applicable. 

One evening, my heart fortified and my spirits afloat 
with wine, I called upon Elizabeth Wilfred. She was not 
unaccustomed to see me in this state, I had this day put 
up with one more of my Lord Tyrconners safe insults, 
which had set my blood somewhat in motion ; but it was 
not this that had led or driven me to the bottle. (Indeed, of 
late years, neither force nor persuasion was needed to cause 
me to enter a tavern.) I wanted a face that would not blush, 
or a face upon which, being flustered, no blush could be 
seen ; and such a face I carried to the presence of Elizabeth. 

She had often taken me to task in her sweet way, which 
sometimes tempted me to repeat a fault for the sake of the 
reproof, upon my intemperance. She feared lest it might 
grow into a habit ; and would tell me of her father's ex- 
travagances when in his cups, (how many had I myself 
witnessed !) and express her belief that his love of convivial 
pleasures had impaired his fortune, or, at the least, had 
obstructed his advancement, The dear creature was mis- 
taken. Steele was no drunkard, and gained more than he 
lost by his propensity — society, which was his delight, and 
the literary account to which he turned it, which was his 
fame and profit. 

After this occasion, however, she said not a word to me 
touching my state, although I believed I had never hereto- 
fore ventured into her presence so little master of myself ; 
I had of late, indeed, noted a gravity in her looks when I 
approached her, for which no doubt there was ample reason, 
but for which, sometimes, I could almost have chidden 
her. I observed it now, and was displeased with it. A 
moment more, and the vapours cleared from my brain. 
Methought she never looked more beautiful — more lovely. 
Once, whenever I beheld her, I thought her heavenly ; but 
now, heavenly as she was, she was not so in my eyes. 
Heaven and the thought of Heaven were gone forth from me. 

fe My dearest life,'' said I, " of what this world is com- 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



409 



posed, or rather, of what material the men and women are 
made who walk up and down in it, let those determine who 
have more experience or a nicer sagacity than your Richard 
Savage. Lord Tyrconnel, of whom I so long entertained 
the highest opinion, in whose friendship I placed the most 
implicit reliance, is no better than the vulgar herd. I have 
nothing further to expect from him but insult, unless I 
consent to do that which would make me worthy of sub- 
mitting to it — unless I choose to become his creature." 
This brought her to my side. She took my hand. 

" How surprised — how shocked I am to hear this," she 
said, her eyes filling with tears ; " now I know what it is 
that has been preying upon your mind for some time past ; 
what it is that has occasioned the change in your manner I 
could not account for. But you must not vex youself. 
Perhaps you are mistaken. Lord Tyrconnel has been very 
kind to you. Are you sure you do not misconstrue him ? 
Indeed, Richard, you must forgive me ; but I have often 
thought you are too hasty — too ready to take offence where 

none is intended. O Richard ! how I wish " she 

paused — a transient blush passed over her face, and was 
gone. Her eyes were full of tenderness. 

" What does my love wish that, being in my power to 
grant or to obtain, she need an hour longer wish for ? " 

te That we were married, Richard " 

An ill-timed wish. I started ; but she continued hur- 
riedly : 

" Because then you would give me more of your con- 
fidence. But, perhaps, now you will do so. I would I knew 
how I could be of service. Tell me," she added earnestly, 
but quickly. u How cruel have you been ! I see it now. 
It is your concern, for me — your fear lest you should be 
unable to maintain me as you have done, that perplexes 
you — that makes you unhappy. This must not be. My 
poor dear father, before he died, committed me to the kind- 
ness and protection, should I require either, of his daughter, 
Lady Trevor, who wrote me only last week the sweetest 
letter, desiring to see her sister and namesake, as she called 

me. I will go to her until " she blushed and patted 

my cheek ; " come, you need feel no concern about me." 



4-10 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



" My sweetest creature !" I exclaimed in a momentary 
transport, folding her in my arms. I was moved by her 
manner of saying this. In her tone was mingled the 
frankness of the friend with the tenderness of the wife. 

" But/' I resumed after a pause, " do you know that 
my mother, so I am informed by Lord Tyrconnel, has sworn 
that, should I marry you, I am never to expect any thing 
from her; but that if I relinquish all — hope — all," I 
stammered, " all intention of making you my wife,*' laying 
a stress upon the words, (C she will consent to acknowledge 
me, and provide for me as her son." 

(This was a suddenly begotten lie.) 

" Poor lady ! " returned Elizabeth, sighing, " I begin to 
feel that wicked people are the weakest of human beings. 
How mean are their oaths — their vows ! I always loved 
her, and never, in my life, to my knowledge, injured her." 

cc Nor I ; but you see how she pursues me. Is it worth 
reflection ? " 

:e What ? " she inquired. 

<c What my mother has conveyed to me through Lord 
Tyrconnel." 

" Oh ! I had ceased to think of it. No. Her threats, 
if they are threats, are idle, and mean nothing." 

" And yet," I returned — ■ and yet ! I cannot live over 
again this portion of the shameful scene. The lie was 
pursued. " The die is cast," as there is some fellow to say 
in every tragedy I have read. I must on. During this 
talk, I launched out against the institution of marriage, 
denouncing it as a springe to catch fools — as a device to 
fetter the free — as an obstruction to congenial souls. I 
summoned Nature by name — dear outraged mother, who 
is ever expected to conceal the wickednes^ of her children. 
All the wretched sophistry (if it even deserve that name) 
was broached, which, like the candle borne by a mock 
ghost, while it reveals the falsehood makes it the more 
hideous — all those protestations were employed, which 
carry their own refutation with them. 

During my rambling and incoherent discourse, Elizabeth 
disengaged herself from my embrace, and at its conclusion 
gazed at me awhile with a look of blank surprise. 

I smiled approval of my own doctrine. Hers was a sort 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



411 



of giddy laugh, shocking to remember, although at the time 
it seemed not so. She passed her hand across her brow two 
or three times, as though endeavouring to recall something 
to memory. " Is my Richard conscious of what he has 
been saying ? " she uttered, at length ; " he cannot be 
aware that he has made proposals to me — Good God! you 
cannot — must not intend — you do not know " 

" I know only that you are the most charming woman 
in the world/' I exclaimed, clasping her rudely in my arms; 
(( what I have said is spoken, Eizabeth. It must be so." 

She burst from me, and bounded backward, not so much 
with a cry of fear as of horror. Her presence was full of 
grandeur, was glorious. Resentment, which I had never 
seen before, on her raised brow, in her flaming eyes, in her 
face and heaving bosom, which, with her arms, were 
deepest crimson. She stood, the daughter of Sir Richard 
Steele, whose memory rushed, at that moment, to my heart, 
stabbing it through and through. A moment more, and 
all traces of anger were gone from her. Her eyes were bent 
upon me with a look of the most profound concern. No 
words could have conveyed the reproach of the look, which 
was not meant for reproach; nor did she utter a word, but 
hurried to the door. 

I had been transfixed — spell-bound — a sad and sober 
villain, looking, however, simply a fool ; but now I sprang 
forward, and made an effort to detain her; but she passed 
from the room ere I could snatch her hand, and hastened 
up stairs. 

I durst not follow her — I durst not even call to her and 
implore her forgiveness. Oh ! that I had done so ! Her 
heart was ever the seat of mercy, that scarce required 
prompting to forgive. Yet what avails ? I had lost her 
respect for ever. Wantonly, and yet deliberately, I had 
dashed to pieces the image she had raised to my honour in 
the hallowed temple of her own pure and lovely mind. 

I felt all this as I retreated — slunk to my chair. Good 
heavens ! what fools are villains ! Let me suppose, for an 
instant, that my vile scheme was practicable — that such 
was the love of this woman for me, that the world were 
" well lost" at my bidding. Still, was this the time to 
have urged my dishonourable proposals ? Her father, to 



412 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



whom she was tenderly attached, not three months dead — 
her sister, Lady Trevor, (this I knew before,) prepared to 
receive her into her house as a sister — my connection with 
Lord Tyrcormel loosening daily — when unloosed, indi- 
gence or scantily paid labour before me — this was a 
moment of all others — (I, forsooth, believed none could 
be more propitious) the last to be chosen — the last that 
any cool-headed rascal would choose. 

It cannot be called reflection when thoughts become 
objects — images of the mind, standing before it with an 
equal prominence. Mrs. Brett, Steele, Tyrconnel, Lady 
Hertford arose upon my mind — and Sinclair. Him I 
cursed — ■ and for what ? Because, like a bold and open 
robber, he had sought to do that, which I, like a cowardly 
and sneaking thief, had just been attempting. Yes — my 
blood boiled at the thought that he had presumed to medi- 
tate wrong against this divine creature. I wrought con- 
solation for myself out of the miserable belief that, while 
I could feel such warmth of indignation against Sinclair, 
I myself could not have sinned beyond all hope of forgive- 
ness. And yet I cursed myself, too ; but while I did so 
(oh, human nature !) it appeared to me that these curses 
were, or ought to be, efficacious towards securing my 
pardon. 

1 was aroused out of my half- con trite, half-sullen medi- 
tations, by the entrance of a person into the room. It was 
a lady. I started to my feet. Yes, my Elizabeth, generous 
and noble girl ! must know that I could never design to 
insult her — that it was a sudden frenzy, repented as soon 
as passed. I advanced with open hands to meet her. I 
was mistaken. The film before my eyes had prevented 
me from recognising Mrs. Phillips. 

I recoiled in extreme disappointment, which must have 
taken the form of disgust. This lady was a most im- 
passive person, a most imperturbable woman. She per- 
petually presented the appearance of a piece of machinery 
— like a watch wound up every morning or night. She 
advanced upon me. 

" Madam," said I, "pardon me ; but I did not expect 
to see you. Where is Miss Wilfred ? ° 

" She is retired to her own chamber. Neither had 1 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



413 



any expectation of seeing you, Mr. Savage. I thought you 
were gone." 

u Miss Wilfred will be down stairs presently, madam : 
I must see her." 

6 Not to-night/' replied she, coldly. " I fear, sir, you 
have said something to Miss Wilfred — that there is some- 
thing wrong." 

" Something wrong ! " What a formal, heartless, 
solemn person. <c Something wrong ! " She was correct, 
however. All was wrong. 

ec I have deeply offended Miss Wilfred, I acknowledge 
it. Yet, I trust, should she permit me to see her, I may 
offer such reparation, — My dear madam, you will, I know, 
intercede for me ? " 

cc I know not in what you have offended," she replied. 
C( I know only that if, as I suspect — pardon me, sir — 
you have very grievously insulted the young lady, to-night 
is not the time to explain or excuse your conduct. Quick 
repentance and forgiveness lead to as quick a renewal of 
the offence." 

ci My dear madam, permit me to deny — I desisted. 
All remonstrance was useless when that lady's mouth w r as 
open. 

" Miss Wilfred," she continued, " came into my room 
about an hour since, and throwing herself into my arms, 
sobbed upon my bosom, that I thought her heart would 
break. It pained mine, sir, deeply, to see her in such 
distress ; for she is a most excellent and worthy young- 
lady. I could not prevail upon her to tell me the cause of 
her grief. She said that now she was the most miserable 
of women — that she had been unfortunate before ; but 
that now she was wretched beyond hope. Now, Mr. 
Savage, if you have been the cause of this — " 

" I have — I have — " I exclaimed vehemently — "I 
have been a madman, madam ; but I am not a villain. 
The dearest creature ! — Mrs. Phillips — I must pass you 
— I must go to her — I must fling myself at her feet — " 

" You must not to-night," she replied, placing her back 
against the door, and holding forth her hands, <( I will 
not have Miss Wilfred agitated to-night. She is in her 
own room. Nay, sir, you shall not pass. 



414 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



The woman was too strong for me, or for such force 
as I could employ against a woman. 

(C For God's sake, madam, hear me. I am at this 
moment half mad — " 

" I see you are ; and, therefore, altogether unfit for 
Miss Wilfred's society this evening." 

I thought this cold creature would have relented ; for 
she put on a smile of compassion. 

" Come, sir, calm yourself, and go home. To-morrow 
morning you will be better prepared to meet Miss Wilfred." 

It was in vain to wheedle or to remonstrate, although I 
did both for a considerable time. One might, with as 
much success, have attempted to mollify the statue of 
Queen Elizabeth. Mrs. Phillips was inexorable. I was 
fain, therefore, to retire, which, after all, when I had sub- 
mitted to do so, I believe was the best. I was so utterly 
ashamed of myself, that I know not how I could have 
stood before her presence. 

I did not, however, go home, but to my tavern, which 
had already supplied me with courage to undertake my 
villanous project, and must now impart consolation to me 
on its defeat. I stayed there very late. How I got home, 
I did not know until afterwards. 

On the following morning, as I came down stairs, Lord 
Tyrconnel pushed open a door, and in an insolently im- 
perious voice, called out, from the inner part of the room, — 

"That is you, Mr. Savage, I believe. Here ! I want you." 

I was in no humour, on that morning, to put up with 
insults ; and, indeed, not to have offended me, this Lord 
must have used very choice language. I looked in at the 
door, with no smooth brow, and with an eye in no wise 
amiable. 

" You spoke ? " 

" I want you." 

" You want manners. Perhaps you have mislaid them. 
They cannot, I hope, be far off. Let me shut the door 
upon you and them, lest they escape. You will, probably, 
find them before I return." 

He turned round, for when I looked in upon him he 
was standing with his back towards me ; but I closed the 
door suddenly, and left the house. 



ItlCHARD SAVAGE. 



415 



It was not long ere I reached the house of Mrs. Phillips, 
The servant ushered me into Elizabeth's drawing-room. 
I waited her coming with some anxiety, and in no small 
trepidation. How would she receive me ? I almost 
dreaded to conjecture. 

Mrs. Phillips at last presented herself. I saluted her 
with great gravity. She handed me a sealed letter, in 
silence. 

" What is this, madam ? " I faltered, and must have 
turned pale. I felt the blood recede from my heart ; I 
knew the seal too well. I durst not glance at the super- 
scription. " What is the meaning of this? Where is 
Elizabeth ? " 

There was an alteration in the woman's face. There 
was sorrow upon it. 

" Miss Wilfred is gone," she replied,, u and has left that 
letter for you. 

« Gone ! Whither ? " 

" That letter, sir, will perhaps inform you." 
« True." 

I retired to the window, and with shaking hands broke 
open the letter, which I read as well as those hands would 
let me. Every word a viper in my bosom : yet all sweet- 
ness, gentleness, forgiveness ; but forgiveness as of the 
dying to the survivor, who shall no more be seen. I could 
have burst into an agony of weeping, for my spirits had 
been over wrought ; but I swallowed down the weakness 
which 1 feared Mrs. Phillips had detected. Crushing the 
letter together, I thrust it into my pocket and turned upon 
her. 

" Woman ! " I exclaimed, " you are a party to this. 
You know where Miss Wilfred is gone." 

Her hands placidly revolved one over the other. I 
could have wrenched the fingers from her freezing paws. 

" Speak, woman," I continued, " I must not be trifled 
with. You are in the secret. You shall tell me where 
Miss Wilfred is gone." 

" You do not well, sir," replied Mrs. Phillips, " in ad- 
dressing me so disrespectfully. I am a woman, it is true, 
but no inferior. Mr. Phillips was a gentleman, and as 
such, I " 



416 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



" Good Heavens, madam, do not torture me. I beg 
your pardon. At another time I shall be happy to con- 
cede all you may require in favour of Mr. Phillips's pre- 
tensions, or of your own ; but now " 

" That is quite sufficient, sir. I do not know where 
Miss Wilfred has betaken herself/' 

" You do not ? But this of course. Ha ! ha ! 
Madam ! " 

She made me a low curtsey. 

e Upon my honour, Mr. Savage, I do not. That was 
never yet brought in question." 

I dashed my clenched fist against my forehead. 

" Base fool, and wretched fool that I am ! But this 
must not be. I will discover her retreat." 

I drew my companion to a chair, and myself sat down. 

" Now, madam, tell me all you know, I beseech you. 
Miss Wilfred told you of her intended flight — her 
departure ? " 

" She did, last night, and I strove to dissuade her from 
it ; but she shook her head, and said ( it must be — must 
be — must be ; ' — repeating the words three times ; nor 
could all I urged prevail on her even to defer her inten- 
tion. In the morning early, as soon as it was light, she 
was stirring. She knocked at my chamber door, and re- 
quested that I would permit the servant to order her a 
coach." 

" You torture me by this trivial particularity," said I ; 
€i You let her depart without asking, without insisting 
upon knowing where she intended to go ? " 

cc I did, sir. It was not for me to presume to do any- 
thing of the kind." 

" Good God, Mrs. Phillips ! have you any feeling — 
have you a heart ? " 

" Mr. Savage," she replied, stiffly, " Miss Wilfred is a 
lady of virtue and honour, and of discretion. I doubt not, 
however extraordinary the step she has taken may appear, 
she has good reason for it. I dare say, sir, in your calmer 
moments you, yourself, must acknowledge that. I tear, 
sir, any explanation to you of her reasons is superfluous. 
Your letter, of course, is silent as to her intended desti- 
nation ? " 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



417 



« It is. — Oh ! Mrs. Phillips ! I said last night, I 
was not a villain, but I lied : mad, it is true, I may be, 
but so are all villains. I have offended Miss Wilfred be- 
yond hope of forgiveness. She has renounced me. I have 
lost her respect for ever. She has ceased to love me." 

" I hope you may be able to offer such an excuse for 
your conduct, as may induce Miss Wilfred to pardon you," 
said Mrs. Phillips. ee You are mistaken/' she added, after 
a pause, laying her hand gently on my arm, c: if you 
imagine that she no longer loves you. Had you seen her 
this morning when she took her leave of me, you had not 
said so. She had drawn out her purse, sir, but checked 
herself suddenly ; ' I was going to do a very foolish, wrong 
thing, madam/ she said ; 4 I was about to ask you how 
much rent was owing, that I might pay it you, but I must 
not do that. It would offend Mr. Savage. I would not, 
for the world, he should think I harbour — ' here her voice 
failed her. c O madam/ turning to me, her eyes filled 
with tears, and her voice struggling through sobs, c that 
the world should have spoiled such a noble nature as his V 
She wrung my hands between her own. c You will tell 
him/ — she hesitated — e no, this letter will be sufficient.' 
She tore herself from me, and hurried into the coach/' 

" Pray leave me, Mrs. Phillips," said I, " for a few 
minutes." 

" Compose yourself, sir," said she, kindly. e< Tell me 
you will do so, if I leave you." 
u Yes, yes — I will." 

I thought I was going to roar like a great lubberly lad, 
but I could not. I drew the letter from my pocket, im- 
precating curses on my head for having so rudely deformed 
it. Again and again I read it. " Dearest Richard " — ■ 
no hope could be drawn thence ; — the letter itself for- 
bade it. Had it breathed resentment, I had had less reason to 
despair. I must discover whither she had fled — throw 
myself at her feet, nor leave her till she promised my 
pardon. 

I left the house abruptly, nothing doubting that, before 
the day was over, I should prove successful in my search, 
and be blessed with her forgiveness. My spirits revived as 

E E 



418 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



her lovely and beloved idea filled my mind, I pictured to 
myself the rapture of a reconciliation, all contrition on my 
part, all tenderness and mercy on hers ; and now, for the 
first time in my life, began to apprehend the luxury of a 
lover's quarrel. 

Vain and senseless beast that I was, not to have known, 
not to have felt, that my pardon, had I obtained it, would 
have been an argument of Elizabeth's weakness, rather 
than of her virtue ; and that mercy, though it may forgive 

— forgiveness being the quality, the essence of its nature 

— has yet no power to absolve. But it was not to be. 
She had few friends or acquaintances : these, my memory 

readily recalled, and to these in turn I hastened. Lord 
Trevor was out of town, nor had Elizabeth been to his 
house. Lady Hertford was at home, and listened to the 
story I forged upon the instant with cold incredulity. She 
had not seen Miss Wilfred. She added that when she did 
see her, she feared it was probable she should hear some- 
thing concerning Mr. Savage that would induce her never 
to see him again. She had heard of my wild pranks at 
taverns ; and was quite certain I had done something to 
affront Miss Wilfred. 

I was in no humour — indeed, I felt I had no time to 
listen — to the objurgatory speeches of this very correct 
lady, and took my departure with some abruptness. The 
same want of success awaited me everywhere. No trace 
of my fugitive was to be discovered. I went back to Mrs. 
Phillips, and compelled her to promise that, should Miss 
Wilfred return, (which, on my way to her house I in- 
dulged a hope she might yet do,) she would immediately 
send a messenger for me. 

I awaited his coming with the utmost anxiety, until 
nine o'clock, when, unable to bear the suspense, the agony 
of my own thoughts, I flung out of Lord Tyrconnei's 
house, and once more presented myself before Mrs. 
Phillips. No tidings. Then, when I could no longer 
expect them, I cursed myself for having expected, and 
vented such a flourish of execrations, as made the good 
woman shudder. These execrations were not confined to 
my own person. What, were they then extended to Eli- 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



419 



zabeth ? Heaven forbid that could ever have been ! No. 
But Mrs. Brett partook largely of them ; and Lord Tyr- 
connel had his share, and I am not altogether certain that 
Lady Hertford might not have claimed one or two. 

The truth is, I had eaten nothing all day but a small 
biscuit, and had drunk largely — a ha'porth of bread to an 
intolerable quantity of sack. Wine taken upon an empty 
stomach, and under the influence of strong excitement, is 
not favourable to a hopeful or exulting view of things, or 
to the temper that calls them to its ken. I mentally 
connected Mrs. Brett and Lord Tyrconnel with Elizabeth 
and with her flight, to which — so it seemed to my 
warped fancy — they had lent their countenance. I 
brooded over the pleasure, the exultation they must un- 
doubtedly feel when they heard, and they could not fail 
soon of hearing, that she had left, they would say escaped, 
me. To my mother's treatment of me, I referred this 
amongst the other calamities that had attended me 
through life. Fool ! but this has been my besetting weak- 
ness — call it sin. As though, had I been so minded, I 
could not have blunted every shaft of the many her malice 
winged against me. Laughed them to scorn — I have 
done that ; but it has often been with a writhing lip, and 
a brow on which the dew of pain, of anguish stood. Oh, 
too late ! — too late to regret what I might have been, and 
what I am, and what I am still to be — one more fool in 
the flood that hurries fools to oblivion ! 

In no pleasant mood, I carried myself away to my ac- 
customed tavern, but I dismissed all appearance of emotion 
at the threshold. I never brought with me into company 
— unless it were into company towards whom it was my 
purpose to show it — any sullenness of humour or brutal 
moroseness. I met there several of the wild and waggish 
rascals with whom I had caroused on the previous night. 
They rallied me upon my state of helpless drunkenness, 
and reminded me, or rather told me — for I had utterly 
forgotten it — of a general invitation I had given to the 
company, to spend the night with me at the house of Lord 
Tyrconnel. 

That invitation must have arisen out of a determination 

E E 2 



420 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



which was now uppermost, that I would take the earliest 
opportunity of showing his Lordship that I looked upon 
the use of his saloon, the services of his footman, and the 
contents of his wine-cellar, as absolutely at my disposal. 
Two years since, he had in express terms bidden me so to 
consider them. It squared with my present humour ex- 
actly, therefore, to be held to my engagement, which I 
professed myself in readiness to fulfil on the instant. 

Away we went, some half drunk already, others hasten- 
ing to be so, eight or ten of us hallooing through the 
streets, intolerant of the watch and of every obstruction, 
whether of animal matter or of physical substance, that 
impeded or seemed to impede our onward progress. 

Arrived at the house, a vigorous application of the 
knocker enforced immediate admittance. We burst like a 
torrent into the hall. I summoned the butler before me, 
and pronounced my orders. He remonstrated, but in 
vain. His were later instructions than, in my presence, 
had been given to him. I reminded him of Lord Tyr- 
connel's injunctions to obey me as himself. He was fain 
in this instance to do so. I passed with my friends up- 
stairs. 

I have no distinct remembrance of what took place after 
we had been provided with wine : plenty there was, and of 
the best. It was a scene of disorderly merriment. The 
sounds of uproar, of wild laughter, and songs and catches, 
of extravagance, of licentious nonsense, still ring in my ears. 
Wigs awry, or wrong-side foremost — heads without wigs — 
long doomsday faces — mouths that seemed as though they 
would laugh till doomsday — these float before my vision, 
and these no doubt there were. 

In the very perplexity of the confusion — at the very 
moment when each man may be supposed to have been, and 
probably was, talking to his neighbour upon a subject which 
he did not understand, and in a language that was unin- 
telligible, into the room walks, or rather stalks, my Lord 
Tyrconnel. 

When I discerned him and a phantom of himself, loom- 
ing in the distance, which was not, I believe, till he had 
been a minute in the room, I called aloud to him (this and 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



421 



all that took place till the company broke up, was told me 
afterwards by one of the party) : 

" You are welcome, Lord Tyrconnel, very welcome ; 
although not invited, you are, I say, very welcome." 

To this he answered : (i I believe, indeed, Mr. Savage, 
had I J)een invited, I should not have been more welcome, 
or less ; " then turning to one of the gentlemen : (( Mr. 
Barker, I am surprised to see you here. You know the 
terms upon which Mr. Savage holds a footing in my house. 
Let me tell you, after to-morrow, he shall have no further 
opportunity of disgracing me or himself here. He is too 
drunk to listen to reason or to hear resentment to-night. 
Prevail upon your friends to go. It is no fault of theirs. 
I should be sorry to affront gentlemen in my own house, 
which, however, I must do if they are not speedily gone. 
My servants have called the watch." 

I think I heard the conclusion of this sentence ; for, it 
seems, I arose and made toward the speaker. Barker, 
however, held me tightly, till Lord Tyrconnel was gone 
from the room, when I succeeded in breaking from his 
grasp, and away I staggered in quest of the insolent dis- 
turber of my social enjoyment. 

I recollect nothing that followed. When I awoke next 
morning, I found myself in my own bed, and by degrees 
attained to a partial remembrance of the last night's scene, 
of its interruption, and of the presence of him by whom it 
had been interrupted. 

But a matter of greater moment now solicited my mind. 
I must renew my search after Elizabeth. Dear, lovely, 
cruel girl ! I struck my aching head with my clenched 
hand. She had hurried me into the debauch, and to her 
its consequences must be ascribed. " Its consequences ? " 
and what were they ? Did my heart fail me ? — Was my 
spirit gone ? — Where was my pride — my dignity ? " By 
the soul of man ! as Lemery would say," cried I, spring- 
ing from my bed ; " we shall see — he shall see that ! " 

The wine I had drunk was still strong within me. 
Heart-sick — vague — with a head like an auction room, a 
confusion of strange things and noises — I dressed myself 
hastily, and ordered breakfast in my own room. Scarce 
e e 3 



422 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



was it despatched, when a servant waited upon me with 
" Lord Tyrconnel's service to you, sir, and will be obliged 
if you will attend him in his study, at your earliest leisure.'' 
ce I was going out, but will attend his lordship directly.'' 
cc Vastly civil ! plaguy polite ! The sunshine before the 
storm. Let us see." I muttered thus as I descended the 
stairs. 

His lordship was standing to receive me. He bowed 
gloomily as I advanced, his brows lowering ; but he was 
very pale, with rage I conjectured, and my conjecture was 
right. We seated ourselves at opposite corners of one end 
of the table. I awaited his communication. 

" Mr. Savage — hem ! — " he cleared his throat, for his 
voice was somewhat husky — "Mr. Savage, it is time we 
should understand each other — that we should come to a 
perfect understanding.'* 

" With all my heart — if we have not already done so. 
I believe for some time past, I have understood your lord- 
ship perfectly." 

" I know your insolent tongue, Savage/' he began. 

ic Know your own, and check it," I returned. u But 
we begin too warmly. Pray, my Lord, be calm. I will 
be so — I am so." 

But I was not, although I appeared very calm. My 
hands pressed between my knees, my body inclined towards 
him, my face looking into his with an air of mock deference. 
He could scarce bear it with patience. 

" What took place last night," he resumed, cc has decided 
me as to the course I ought to pursue. That is settled. 
And now, sir," raising his voice, l< since it were vain — 
useless — to appeal to your feelings, let me address myself 
to your memory. Two years ago, you were in great dis- 
tress ; nay, you cannot deny it. Touched by your mis- 
fortunes, I took you into my house, I allowed you a 
pension " 

" These I's are lies ! " I exclaimed in a voice of ill-sup- 
pressed fury. iC You took — you allowed — !" 

u Lies, Savage," he replied as furiously : " lies ! — this 
language — " 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



423 



" You must hear it, Lord Tyrconnel. But stay ; it will 
be my turn to speak by-and-by." 

ie I took you, I repeat ; I allowed you two hundred a- 
year ; I made you my friend ; I made myself your friend, 
and I have proved myself one ; and for this kindness, these 
benefits, what return have I had f" 

*' Return !" I answered with a "pish!" of profound 
contempt. u Return ! and what return, good jobbing Sa- 
maritan, did you expect ? What requital did you require ? 
Embracement of knees, licking or kissing of shoes, a bated 
breath when wise Sir Oracle proclaimed the hidden truth 
that dogs wore tails and sometimes wagged 'em ? Re- 
turn ! " 

" None of these, sir, did I expect. These would have 
been servility." 

Ci And what, then, did you expect ? Pardon me, I am 
curious. Your expectations, if you please/' 

e£ Gratitude ! " he thundered. 

There was something excessively ludicrous in the inflated 
appearance of the man, as his one portentous word was dis- 
charged at me. Such a superior look, as of a benefactor 
deceived or betrayed. I could not but smile and shake my 
head lightly, with as portentous an "Oh !" for a reply. 

" Look'ee, Savage," he continued, flinging himself to- 
wards me over the table ; " I have been mistaken in you ; 
but we do not part until I have made you feel, that at last 
I know you. I have heard, sir, of the low, degrading com- 
pany you have been keeping — of the debts you have con- 
tracted — of your profligacy — of " 

Ci Ho, ho! my Lord ; you have paid spies, have you ? or 
perhaps the two hundred a-year pinched you, and you have 
done that creditable work yourself. Take care, my lord, 
I open my book presently ; your account is to come." 

" D — nation! what do you mean, sir?" he replied, 
with a fierce, brow-beating air. Ci Your book, indeed ! 
Where are my books — the books I gave you ? Do you 
blush ? — that is more than I looked for. Are they not 
pawned, or sold ? Why, I have seen some of 'em, stamped 
with my arms, on the book- stalls.' ' 
e e 4 



424 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



This could not be denied. I had pawned and sold. But 
what was this to him ? The books were mine. 

" The world's temptations,, my lord, are strong/' said 
I, " and my resistance is weak. I have known some fel- 
lows who would dispute with St. Peter at the gates of 
heaven about the length of his key, and refuse to enter till 
the point was decided ; — I am not one of those. When 
I arrive at pleasure's gate, I scruple not the key ; nay, I 
would e'en pick the lock, were the key not forthcoming." 

Though I said this as a player might have delivered it 
in a comedy — as airily, as pleasantly — yet, never was 
my choler raised to a higher pitch. 

" Have you done ? " I demanded. " Are there any 
more counts in your indictment? Am I to speak ? " 

ee I have more, much more to say — or had/' he re- 
plied ; " for to what purpose are my words ? " 

ce Then spare yourself the trouble of uttering, and me the 
weariness of hearing them. Now, O Lord Tyrconnel ! " 
and I leaned forward on my elbows and gazed steadfastly 
in his face, " you said I blushed just now — perhaps I 
did. But if you have one blush left in your body, and 
what I am about to say to your heart do not drag it thence 
up into your cheeks, you are more despicable, even, than 
I now believe you, and pronounce you to be." 

He would have arisen, but T laid my hand firmly upon 
his wrist, and proceeded, 

" You took me into your house — you allowed me two 
hundred a year ! Do you think I do not know that to 
Mrs. Brett I am indebted for the allowance, and that she 
reimburses you for my maintenance ? " 

He started up. " By Heaven ! a more pernicious lie " 

" Than you would utter were you to deny this, Lord 
Tyrconnel, by Heaven ! was never uttered." 

He sprang to his feet, his eyes flashing fire which could 
not blast or singe me. He would have felled me to the 
ground, but I caught his arm. 

" Infernal villain, and liar ! " he exclaimed in un- 
governable rage. 

" Words, my lord, which I will exchange. Dolt and 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



425 



knave ! and to your teeth, which you may gnash as you 
will, I say it — base hound ! " 

He wrested himself from me and rushed into the middle 
of the room, drawing his sword. 

" Now sir, or cur," he exclaimed, ee cur, fed by this 
hand which shall chastise your vile insolence, come on. 
When I have punished you, I will kick you back again 
into the streets, whence I took you — to prowl, as you have 
done." 

I advanced towards him, my hand upon my sword hilt. 
I released my hold upon it and surveyed him, for a moment, 
my hands clasped before me. 

u Oh ! " I exclaimed with a grim chuckle, drawing myself 
up, (e oh ! that I had, in this hand, at this moment, every vile 
farthing of the money my mother has disbursed to you on 
my account, that I might dash it into that round, noble, 
booby face of thine ! But if fortune has played me such a 
devil's trick as to have cursed me with a weight of obliga- 
tion to so poor a swaggerer as thou art, run your sword 
into my body and let out a life which is altogether too 
cursed, in that it has been prolonged by thee ! I give you 
but a moment to consider," dashing open my waistcoat, 
and approaching him ; (< are you ready ? " 

" I am no murderer, as you are, Savage," he replied, 
" think of Sinclair." 

ee You make me do so — as sorry a coxcomb," I re- 
turned, drawing my sword. " Think you of his fate, and 
avoid it if you can." 

At it we went like two devils, hating each other for the 
sins of each. He was an expert fencer. After a few 
passes, his sword pierced my waistcoat, raking the flesh of 
my right side. At this moment servants rushed into the 
room. 

" I have wounded you," said he. 

" Not with your sword yet," I replied rushing upon 
him, and closing with him. " Off, fellows," to the ser- 
vants, " or you shall carry work to the doctor." I said 
this, when I had wrenched the sword from Lord Tyrcon- 
nel's hand. 

" My lord, I pursue not my advantage. I shall not 



426 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



hurt you. This has gone far enough. Promise me, on 
your honour, that you will not suffer your servants to offer 
me any indignity." 
He bowed in silence. 

66 Let one of them call me a coach. I myself shall look 
to what is my own, in my late apartments." 

So saying I broke both the swords, and threw them un- 
der the grate. 

cc For all you did for me, Lord Tyrconnel," said I, 
stepping up to him, and addressing him solemnly, " if 
any kindness — benefit if you please, did ever proceed from 
you — while it was done with delicacy — for all your 
favours, (is that your word?) I thank you. But, that you 
insulted a gentleman in distress ; that you took every occa- 
sion you could find, and made many occasions you could 
not, to wound my feelings, to irritate my pride, to embitter 
my existence, when I was no longer necessary to your 
pleasure, agreeable to your vanity, or subservient to your 
caprice, — for this, upon my soul and from it, I scorn and 
despise you." 

With this, I stalked away, leaving him, in my eyes 
and, perhaps, in his own, a very pitiful figure. 

My wardrobe was soon packed, my small property col- 
lected. Splendour — competence — these are very well. 
God be with them, and those that have them. But while 
I had them — I say this when years have passed, during 
which the verb " to have " unless it be of all, nearly, that 
was wretched, was out of my dictionary — while I had 
them, I repeat, God knows I purchased them too dearly. 



CHAPTER X. 

A.N ABRUPT DETERMINATION TO MAKE AN END OF HIS NARRATIVE. 
AND A PARTIAL DISCLOSURE OF SEVERAL WRETCHED PARTICU- 
LARS WHICH SEEM TO MAKE IT EXPEDIENT SO TO DO. 

It is time this farce or this tragedy — to me it seems t ho 
one, to the reader it may appear the other — it is time, 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



427 



I say, it should have an end. In the first place, I am 
weary of my task ; in the second, I learn from my friend 
Pope, that my sojourn in this gaol is ahout to close — - 
the only place in which I should care to continue it ; and, 
lastly, what I have to tell, were I to relate it in full, 
could be neither profitable or instructive to the reader, nor 
pleasant to myself. 

Before I left London, a fellow, a parson, one Miller, 
a heavy farce- writer, introduced me upon the stage in a 
most dull performance yclept " The Coffee House.'' The 
joke was my wretchedness of poverty, and I was ex- 
hibited in an extremely shabby coat. The piece was no 
exception from the ruling fate of this Miller's stage pro- 
ductions — it was damned for its dulness ; but, I was 
told, there were some few in the playhouse, who laughed 
at the paltriness. To such alone — whose souls are far 
more shabby than any coat that ever hung from my 
shoulders, (and, to say truth, I have worn some until that 
they remained any longer pendulous was a marvel,) to 
such earthworms only could the recital of all that I have 
undergone, since my quarrel with Tyrconnel, prove ac- 
ceptable. 

For, if any man of feeling, however morbid, could en- 
dure to write, what man of common humanity could bear 
to read, a long and sickening detail of sordid and squalid 
miseries borne, with whatever fortitude, by a man of birth 
and of abilities ? Yes, however little they may be shown 
in this hurried narrative, abilities the world has attested 
that I once possessed. 

" O memory ! thou soul of joy and pain, 
Thou actor of our passions o'er again — " 

thou actor, likewise, of our sufferings, what if I, ghastly 
fiendish chronicler, were to summon thee to my side, and 
invoking thy assistance to the hideous task, retrace, woe 
by woe, what even now I shudder to fling a moment's 
backward glance upon ? The days without food — the 
nights without lodging — the nights in which I have 
lodged — with thieves, vagabonds, beggars like myself — 
equals in misery, huddled together amongst the comforting 



428 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



ashes of a glass-house ! — What if I were to relieve the 
narrative hy presenting the scenes that I have witnessed, 
scenes in which I have borne a part, in night-cellars — 
brawls, perchance, between ruffians each of whom had 
sent a soul to heaven with knife or bullet ? 

Well, this might be done, nor should I so much mind 
doing this. <c Misery makes a man acquainted with 
strange bedfellows," but after all, misery — the misery of 
poverty — is no crime, although many good people in this 
good world, until they themselves become of the number 
of the wanting ones, will have it to be so. 

But along with it to portray the insult I have borne, 
compelled to bear it — - the devices, the stratagems, the 
pretences I have been forced to employ that I might keep 
a wretched soul in a wretched body a while longer — the 
petty sums I have borrowed from paltry lenders — the 
applications that have been refused — the demands for re- 
payment I have been unable to fulfil — until to lend 
Richard Savage was to bestow, and kindness took the 
name of charity, or, which is more frightful, of pity. — O 
my God ! no more. That must not be set forth — by me. 

Enough that I have said thus much. Despise me, 
reader, — you will — you may : but for the love of heaven 
do not pity me. 

Yet will I furnish a brief sketch of the leading events 
of my life, from the day I left Lord TyrconneFs house to 
the morning of my departure from London. 

Lord Tyrconnel, shortly after our quarrel, with a base- 
ness all his own, under pretence that I owed him money, 
that is to say, converting the allowance I had received 
from him into a debt, seized upon every article I possessed, 
even to my clothes at my new lodgings. I was speedily 
reduced once more to want. My best friends, Mrs. Old- 
field and Mr. Wilks, had died a few months before. My 
pension, therefore, ceased ; and assistance was at an end 
from a man, who never refused me a guinea in his life, 
and whose beneficence, sometimes declined, was never to 
be denied. 

My spirit, however, fell not with my fortune. As long 
as I could frequent coffee-houses I was never weary of ex- 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



429 



posing Lord Tyrconners meanness with all the malice of 
my resentment, and of ridiculing his pompous arrogance 
and solemn folly with all the virulence of my wit. He 
strove to retort, but with no signal success. I bore away 
the palm; for men are more easily pleased than convinced. 
When, at length, he brought hired bullies to the coffee- 
house to take me unawares as I stepped out of it, and 
dared not meet me on the following day, when I waited 
upon him to learn his pleasure, his case was hopeless. 
Even his sycophants fell from him ; but whether in de- 
spair of his morals or of his money I cannot undertake to 
say. 

In the meanwhile, I did not forget my mother. Pru- 
dence might have whispered to me — but when were 
prudence and Richard Savage on speaking terms ? — that I 
should endeavour to seek after a continuance of her 
bounty. But, no ; — so inveterate was my indignation 
against Lord Tyrconnel, that I would not venture the pro- 
posal of any terms of accommodation with her, lest he 
should have the satisfaction of thwarting them. Nor could 
I again submit to the degradation ■ — so I now felt it to be 
— of attempting to extort money from her by threats. 
My purpose now was to make her feel ; and the method of 
doing so that first suggested itself to me was similar to 
that I had before resolved upon putting in practice. But 
a little reflection joined to my past experience — so far 
as I had had means of knowing it — of this woman's 
nature, sufficed to convince me that the end I had in view 
would be best attained by rendering her contemptible 
rather than odious, and by making her a thing to be 
shamed and shunned, rather than a prodigy to be feared 
and gazed upon. 

A poem, entitled <e The Bastard," was the result ; and 
never was bolt shot that went more directly to its aim. 
These verses have been said to contain vigour, to possess 
feeling — to be at once spirited and pathetic. That I re- 
gard not. They made that proud heart quail and sink for 
very shame, whilst mine leaped for very joy — they made 
that head hide itself, whilst mine was lifted to the stars. I 
could almost have hugged her, when I thought of the 



430 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



transport with which, for the first and last time, she had 
been the means of filling me ; but not having her near me, 
I hugged myself. 

In the course of a few months, when the blaze of ad- 
miration had died away, and my acquaintances began to 
think more of their own pockets and less of mine, I was 
again reduced to sound the depths and shallows of human 
misery. Depths are there, sometimes, when you look for 
shallows, and shallows when you expect depths. At length 
Mr. Strong of the Post-Office — my friend {once he was a 
true one) took me as an inmate into his house, and kindly 
entertained me. The concluding paragraph of my poem 
of ec The Bastard " contained an eulogium upon Queen 
Caroline, with a pleading hope, artfully and pathetically 
expressed, that in her gracious beneficence I should find 
what fate or fortune had denied to me — the tenderness of 
a mother. The death of the Rev. Mr. Eusden, the poet 
laureate, happening about this time, my friend Strong 
urgently pressed me to follow up the petition implied in 
those verses, and humbly to solicit the vacant laurel. With 
a providence that seldom characterized my proceedings, I 
had, some months since, made application to the Duke of 
Dorset and the Earl of Middlesex to submit my preten- 
sions to that honour to his Majesty. They had done so, 
and had assured me they brought it from the king's own 
lips that when the vacancy occurred, the office would cer- 
tainly be conferred upon me. 

" Put not thy trust in princes," is a piece of advice as 
old as Solomon who offered it, and who was himself a 
prince. His dependants, probably, had cheapened the ad- 
vice before he set it down. When, on the death of Eusden, 
I presumed to recall his promise to the remembrance of his 
Majesty, I was told that the king had utterly forgotten, 
nay, doubted that he had made it. It was added, by way 
of consolation, that even had he not done so, I had been in 
no better a position, the bestowal of the office being a pri- 
vilege pertaining of right to the Lord Chamberlain, who 
was determined upon this occasion to exercise it. and who 
had another destination for the laurel. Now, had the bays 
lighted on the brows of Thomson, of Aaron Hill — of 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



431 



Dyer, or even of Mallet, I had rejoiced — at least I had 
sat me down contented; — but when, oh ridiculous in- 
famy ! they fell flabby and faded over the ears of Colley 
Gibber ! — astonished and amazed at first, at last there 
was no help for it, but I must join in the vociferous laugh- 
ter so uncommon a spectacle universally excited. Cibber, 
that odd, conceited, pinch-nosed face of his creaming and 
mantling — his poetical merit at length conspicuously and 
handsomely acknowledged, — thrumming the Pindaric 
lyre ! The ghost of Dryden was appeased. From Dryden 
to Shad well was not so practical an exemplification of the 
bathos, as from Shadweli to Cibber. 

Disappointed as I was, I was not altogether discouraged ; 
but addressed a copy of verses to the queen under the 
title of " The Volunteer Laureate." This greatly enraged 
Cibber, whose blushing honours were yet red upon him, 
and who denied my right to assume a title that had de- 
volved to him. I retorted, by protesting that my principal 
reason for so doing was to preserve the title from utter 
contempt, to which his laborious handiwork would other- 
wise consign it. He rejoined, and was unanswered by me. 
Would that a greater man than myself had felt a like con- 
tempt of his inferiors in ability which he was always 
expressing of his superiors in rank, then had we seen no 
such mournful sight as a controversy between Colley 
Cibber and Alexander Pope. 

Meanwhile, the queen was pleased to accept my verses 
very graciously, and to order that the sum of fifty pounds 
should be paid to me annually. Her Majesty accompanied 
the gift with a permission, which was a command, that I 
should* every year supply a similar tribute. This pension 
I received till her death. Between the time of its grant 
and of its surcease, beside the annual panegyrics, which, to 
say the truth, were hardly better than Gibber's better paid 
performances, I wrote two poems of some length and pre- 
tensions ; — " The Progress of a Divine," and "On Public 
Spirit with regard to Public Works." For the former I 
was prosecuted, on the charge of immorality ; but the in- 
dictment was indignantly dismissed by Sir Philip Yorke, 
who paid me many compliments on the moral tenour of my 



432 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



writings. For the latter I was hunted by the printer, (for 
the sale of the poem was not even equal to its merit, which 
I cannot but confess was small indeed,) who nearly suc- 
ceeded in placing me in one of those public works which 
public spirit had erected. The one designed for me was 
that, I believe, whose walls are washed by the sable stream 
of Fleet Ditch ; but a part of his demand down, and the 
rest " when I could/' assuaged him. 

No life of Richard Savage must be written by him, short 
as was the portion of it in which he was so happy as to 
enjoy thy company, without a notice, Samuel Johnson, of 
thee ! And this, not because an ostentatious acknowledg- 
ment of my friendship for thee can do thee honour ; but 
that for my own sake I must declare how much I have been 
honoured by thy friendship ! 

I was introduced to Johnson by Cave, for whom I had, 
from time to time, written various trifles in the Gentleman's 
Magazine. Cave had often paid me the compliment of 
expressing a very high opinion of my judgment both of 
writings and of men, and more than once, before Johnson 
and myself met, had evinced a strong eagerness to hear 
what I thought of him. His own impression was, that he 
would prove extremely useful to him. Useful ! Oh Cave, 
Cave ! But how couldst thou know a man of genius, who 
hadst never seen one ? Even now, I dare be sworn, thou 
thinkest him the strangest mortal ! tf He has parts, cer- 
tainly." Of which thou gladly availest thyself, and rightly. 
But dost thou not sometimes think within thyself, very 
much within thyself, for walls have ears, and even thy 
stone walls have heard strange things, I warrant thee — 
dost thou not, now and then, mutter to thyself, (C This 
man, had he but a proper spirit to assert himself, need not 
be at my heck and call, to do this, that, and the other, for 
any thing I choose to pay him. Why doesn't he get him- 
self a periwig, and garnish himself with a sword, and go 
amongst the wits, and attach himself to a patron ? His 
e London ' has gone before him. A noodle ! I have no 
patience with him, or shouldn't have, if I hadn't profit of 
him. I have known men of less abilities make a very 
pretty figure. " 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



433 



Most true, honest Cave, and so thou hast. Make much 
of him, therefore, while thou canst. The stubborn dog is 
not to be made into a pretty figure. It is time which is to 
shape him for immortality. 

His sturdy sense of independence must submit to what 
further I have to say of him. I found him manly, humane, 
and sincere ; learned, without ostentation ; when serious, 
without moroseness ; when cheerful, without levity. My 
life had passed among men — his had lain among books ; 
yet he had, and has, more wit than any man I ever knew, 
and a more comprehensive, and, at the same time, a more 
accurate knowledge of human nature. We soon became 
intimate. He regarded me, and I loved him. We were 
both alike miserably poor ; and poverty is a strong cement 
to friendship. How oft have we — I was going to use 
Tyrconnel's word — prowled, but no, paraded the streets 
from midnight, till morn " in amice gray " arose and lighted 
upon the lids of sluggish slaves a-bed (what cared we for 
beds who had none ?) and bade them rise. No muimur- 
ings, no repinings were ours at dispensations of Providence, 
at unequal distributions of worldly goods and blessings ; 
but in their stead, philosophy, literature, politics — these 
were our themes. We have many times saved the nation 
without a farthing in our pockets, and tranquillized Europe 
while our teeth were chattering in our heads. Those nights 
had a relish of happiness in them even at the time ; the 
memory of them now is precious to me. 

I waited some considerable time, after the queen's death, 
in expectation that my pension would be paid to me as 
before. The allowance made by her majesty to others 
had, as I was told, been continued. Wearied, at length, 
and not so fearful that I had been overlooked, as suspecting 
I had been purposely neglected, I waited upon Sir Robert 
Walpole, at his levee, and in no obsequious manner de- 
manded to know the reason of the discontinuance of my 
pension. He gave me to understand that I was no longer 
to expect it ; but declined to satisfy me as to the reason 
why it was withheld. Upon this, I took the opportunity 
of reproaching him, in no measured terms, for his per- 
fkliousness — for this man had, three years before, volun- 



434 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



tarily renewed the promise he had made to me when I lived 
with Lord Tyrconnel of giving me an appointment ; which 
promise, I need not add, he had never fulfilled. 

He listened to me with perfect calmness. 

c< Have you yet made your peace with Lord Tyr- 
connel ? " he inquired. 

" Made my peace, Sir Robert ! — what do you mean ? 
But I have not." 

ce It is not likely, then, that you will ? " 

" Nothing less. I have done with him." 

" Then Mr. Savage," with a low bow, " good morning. 
I have nothing to say." 

<c And yet you can say more than you mean, Sir Robert, 
which I cannot. I disdain you. I, at least, am candid.*' 

I left him in a rage, his cringing sycophants, with 
whom the chamber was crowded, making an instant alley 
for me as I passed, and wondering, doubtless, whence the 
maniac could have sprung (if out of Bedlam, surely the 
man must have had more discretion), bold enough to 
beard a minister in his own house. 

Dim twilight, now — let the darkness (for who can 
stay it?) come on. It comes apace. My affairs were now 
in a disastrous plight. My friends were becoming tired 
of extending their aid, and I had been Jong sick of re- 
ceiving their assistance. Some urged me to a resolute 
exercise of my talents. Johnson was of the number of 
these. He was young, and knew not the crushing oper- 
ations of necessity. He had constant employment from 
Cave, and although often without money or credit, and 
therefore without a dinner, he need never be more than 
forty-eight hours without a supply. He was a man of 
extensive learning, of great abilities, and of a searching 
mind, and accordingly had sharp tools, and exhaustless 
materials at hand. I was a man of no learning — of 
talents, such as they were, that, like the fairies or spirits 
in an Opera which appear to the sound of soft music, 
would only serve me to the harmonious tinkle of a verse : 
and, such as they were, curses on the cursed life I had led ! 
they were not such as they had been. But who, if his 
mind were able to project designs that would require 
months to their completion, and not only to project, but 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



435 



to prepare and adjust them — who could sit down day by 
day to labour them, when, every hour in each day, his in- 
ward economy, like the daughters of the horse-leech, was 
crying, " Give, give t" A man's mind, that he may do 
any thing worth troubling the printer withal, must be 
without the pressure or the prospect of immediate want. 
When I have urged this to my friends, having some con- 
siderable and advantageous performance at heart, wishing 
anxiously to pursue it, they have replied, — 

" But what use, what end ? Where would be the 
wisdom, Savage of advancing money to you, which, so 
soon as you had got it, you would squander ? Do we not 
know you ? Come, confess ! — would the work be begun, 
while a shilling lingered behind its fellows ? " 

And if not to them, I have been fain to confess it to 
myself— it would not. The first act of prudence is to 
come. 

" Let not a man at any time deceive himself/' says the 
world. If the deceit contributes to his happiness, and is 
innocent, or lessens his misery, though the deceit be vain 
and idle, let him encourage it, says one, who, had he not 
often deceived himself, had perished by his own hand 
long since. But I had friends who would sometimes raise 
the veil — who would come to the common sense of the 
matter — who would speak the words of truth and sober- 
ness, and be hanged to 'em. They would tell me, when I 
opened my plans before them, that large designs required 
long reflection — that they feared I was not exactly qua- 
lified for this — that I was not precisely the man for that ; 
they would remind me that I had failed before, and 
caution me against making a second mistake. But this, 
at a time, when the greatest mistake 1 could make would 
have been to call for a dinner, and imagine I could pay 
for it, or betake myself to a bed and suppose I had any 
right there. Surely the hearts of these despicable com- 
forters (for there are many such in the world) might 
serve as marble for a monument to Patience. I see her 
sitting thereon, smiling at Grief. 

Well ; at last I was reduced to the utmost extremity. 
From my best friends, or rather, from those who best had 

F F 2 



436 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



it in their power to serve me, I had kept the knowledge of 
my miserable condition as long as I could ; but it was no 
longer a secret. In this imminence of my affairs, several 
of them, including Sir Edward Langley and Burridge, 
met together to devise some plan for my relief. Let any 
six or seven men assemble for the purpose of framing a 
scheme for the assistance of their common friend, and ten 
to one, unless they be men of singular humanity, all de- 
licacy towards the object of their intended bounty is 
speedily dismissed and forgotten. The result of their de- 
liberations, as to what should be done with me, was this. 
They proposed, amongst them, to subscribe fifty guineas 
a year for me (Mr. Pope having offered himself to pay 
twenty guineas out of it), on condition that I would leave 
London, under a promise never to return, and retire into 
Wales, where living, they said (and life they might have 
added) was cheap. Langley was deputed to make this 
proposition to me. He acquitted himself bravely — and 
basely. He would accept it, he told me, were he in my 
place ; indeed, in my circumstances, he should be glad to 
snatch at any thing to keep body and soul together. He 
thought he was telling a lie, but he spoke the truth. He 
would have been glad. Body and soul ! He had not 
kept them together, when he waited upon me ! 

I resisted the proposition with firmness, which they 
termed obstinacy ; and with warmth, which they called 
indignation. I pleaded, which was true, that I had already 
made some progress in a second tragedy, on the subject of 
Sir Thomas Overbury ; that I could proceed with it more 
to my own satisfaction in London, where I had friends ; 
— that, when completed, I should be on the spot to 
superintend its preparation at the theatre ; that I had no 
passion for the country ; — and, finally, that I did not care 
to receive any thing at the hands of men, who proposed, 
at the same time, to tie my hands. 

No ! I must go to Wales. I would not. They gave 
me time to re-consider my determination, and in the mean- 
while allowed me a pittance to subsist upon. 

One morning, Burridge called upon me. He found me 
dressed in a horseman's coat, sitting over my tankard. We 
retired to a private room. I was no longer a favourite of 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



437 



the old man. Throughout my whole course,, he had at- 
tended me, at short intervals, with exhortations and re- 
monstrances, which, unheeded or laughed aside, were suc- 
ceeded by prophetic denunciations. I had now, as he 
believed, fulfilled his predictions, for which he despised 
me. I bore no love to him because he thought I had ful- 
filled them. For what man willingly assents to upbraid- 
ings of another, signifying that there is no longer any hope 
in him ? Even now, late though it be — when I return to 
London, will I make the old prophet pause ere he again feel 
the pulse of futurity, and pronounce death to a living patient. 

<c Well, sir," said he, " after all, perhaps (gods ! how 
like a highwayman you look !), perhaps, after all, there 
may be no necessity for your accepting the subscription 
that goes so much against you. Always busy in your 
affairs, Dick — always thinking of you, for / cannot for- 
get old times ! I have waited upon your mother, and seen 
her. I have seen her." 

" May I ask you, Mr. B ur ridge/' said I, "in what 
manner the sight of my mother connects itself with my 
affairs ? " 

" I told her your present destitute condition," he re- 
plied ; " and put it to her whether her son ought to be 
beholden to charity." 

" You have done well, sir," said I, turning from him. 
ce Has my destitute condition, as you call it, been yet 
proclaimed at Charing Cross?" 

ec Ah, well ! I am used to this language, Mr. Savage. 
But hear me. I have moved her thus far. She says, if 
you will make a solemn promise never to see her again, or 
to trouble her in any way — if, further, you will address 
a letter to her, expressing your regret at having persecuted 
her (she used too strong a word there, I admit), she will 
allow you something handsome for life. But she will not 
be bound, by any written engagement, to do so. Come, 
now, I see you are reasonable. Well, so, that's a dear 
fellow." 

I replied with humility : ci When I was an infant, she 
attempted to smother me ; — when I was a lad, to transport 
me, perhaps, to get me murdered ; when I became a man, 
f f 3 



438 



"RICHARD SAVAGE. 



she tried to hang me ! My life, you know, sir, has been 
a long misery of her making. But all this is past." 
" It's all past," said Burridge. 

" And my present destitute condition — you would 
advise me to close with her terms ? " 

"1 would. Oh, Dick! cursed resentments ! — no good 
comes of 'em. Away with 'em ! " 

" I wish I had a sheet of paper/' said I, quietly, " that 
I might write my regrets." 

Burridge rang the hell with alacrity, and ordered writing 
materials. 

" You said, I think/' cried I, nourishing a pen, " that 
she insists upon a promise on my part that I will never see 
her again ? " 

ee She said that, I confess," cried Burridge, shrugging 
his shoulders. " Ah, well ! that is a promise may be easily 
kept, I imagine." 

I had already made some progress in the following 
letter : — 

" Madam, 

" Your wish will be gratified, though your command 
is not obeyed. I shall see you no more. Nothing on 
earth, while I am on it, shall again induce me to come 
before your sight, or to hold you in mine. I want nothing 
from you, not even your curse, or your blessing. You 
have ceased to injure, you shall not serve me. It is too 
late for you, madam, to commence doing good. If you 
think not, begin. You will not understand the humanity 
of it when I tell you, you shall not begin with me. Every 
benefit would revive a wrong, if not in my mind, certainly 
in your own. Live ! But I am not revengeful. Die, then. 
How hard am I beset for a wish that may be acceptable to 
you ! If you have a preference, believe that I join in it. 
One word more. If I know you to be vile, I dare say 
you think me so. Grant I am right, you will agree with 
me in this : If we loved each other, how we should hate 
ourselves ! 

" Your son, 

(( Richard Savag e . " 
" There, sir," said I, handing him the letter ; " read 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



439 



that. When you have read it, I will seal and direct, and 
you will convey it to her." 

" What a plague ! " cried Burridge, having perused it 
attentively, taking off his spectacles, and returning them 
to the case. " Are you mad ? I deliver no such letter, T 
promise you." 

"Why not?" said I. 

"Why not?" in a ferment; "I wouldn't have that 
heart of yours in my bosom, Mr. Savage, for all the wealth 
of Mexico. She is old, sir ; old and feeble — scarce a 
vestige of the woman she was." 

"Not outwardly, Mr. Burridge ; look within — there 
she is unchanged." 

" And so are you." 

" Thank God — yes ! " 

" What, then," said he, gazing at me incredulously, 
" are you relentless ? Were she to send for you, to im- 
plore you to exchange forgiveness with her, would you not 
take her hand ? " 

" Ay, sir ; I would take her by the hand — by both 
hands, and bidding her look upon the wretch she had 
made, curse her from the crown of her head to the sole of 
her foot ! Against forgiveness of that woman in this 
world, I have an oath recorded, where she will never see 
it — in heaven." 

" For the love of heaven, of which you speak," cried 
Burridge, stopping his ears, " no more. This is too much." 

" It is," I replied. u I spoke too strongly — but you 
make me speak. Listen to me, sir. You are a very old, 
and have been a very good friend of mine. I am indebted 
to you for more benefits than, 1 dare say, you remember. 
I do not forget one. We must not part without shaking 
hands. But if you and your friends, who are pleased to 
call themselves my friends likewise — with what truth let 
the inhuman indelicacy of their conduct towards me de- 
clare — if you and your friends think, because you have 
made, or are about to make, a paltry subscription for me, 
saddled with wantonly devised and idle conditions, that 
the price I am to pay for it is to be the mortification of 
my feelings, the outrage of my pride, the rasping of my 

F F 4 



440 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



soul, be it known to you and to them, I will not pay that 
price, and I reject your subscription." 

" We mean no such thing ; I, at least, have no such 
meaning," cried Burridge, affected. (i Dick ! Dick ! I 
have loved you, and I cannot well forego a lingering some- 
thing here for you still. Your pride has been your bane, 
and will yet be your ruin. I hope not. Good bye ! — I 
forgot ; — Langley and I waited on Mr. Pope yesterday. 
He desired me to tell you he wished to see you. He has 
your welfare at heart. To have acquired the friendship of 

such a man as Pope " 

" Is, perhaps, to have deserved it, Mr. Burridge/' 
cs Ah, well ! Dick Savage, you could deserve even higher 
than that." 

iC Good bye. Say no more. I can and will. But time 
— time " 

" Flies, Dick ; and the wind of his wings overthrows 
many a brave fellow while he is busy, poising his good in- 
tentions." 

What Burridge declined doing, a less scrupulous ac- 
quaintance undertook. 1 was so well pleased with my 
letter, that I despatched it to my mother. What effect it 
produced, I know not. Had I possessed the means of 
satisfying myself upon this point, I am not sure that I had 
cared to inquire. 

I paid my respects to Mr. Pope on the following morn- 
ing. He received me with his usual gentle kindness. To 
borrow a word from the nursery, his fractious peevishness 
of which the w r orld has heard so much — a consequence of 
his wretched health — was never exhibited before me. 
During a considerable time we discoursed of general or of 
indifferent things, Pope evidently reluctant to enter upon 
the business for which he had summoned me thither. At 
length he began by lamenting the necessity I was under of 
being beholden to my friends ; u some of whom, to tell 
you the truth, sir," he added, " I except Mr. Burridge — 
appear determined that the obligation they intend you to 
be under to them, shall not lie heavy upon you. Js there no 
way of averting the necessity of being obliged to them at all ? " 

I assured him that I felt the cruel situation in which I 
was placed, more than I could express ; that there was 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



441 



nothing I could do, that I would not attempt, rather than 
be degraded into a puppet for others to play what tricks 
they liked with. Upon hearing this, Pope walked to an 
adjoining table, from which he took an open letter. 

" This/' said he, reseating himself, u is a letter I have 
taken the liberty of writing for you," he hesitated and 
turned slightly pale — Pope always turned pale when he 
should have blushed — (i 1 think/' he resumed, e< it is 
nearly what you yourself would write. You can copy it 
here. You know Sir William Lemon ? " 

" I do." 

" It is to him — to be shown to Lord Tyrconnel." 

What ! any man take a pen between his fingers, and 
form letters, and frame words, and connect sentences, and 
express sentiments, or opinions, or feelings in my name, 
and without consulting me — and I called upon to scratch 
a transcript of this emanation from another man's mind, 
and to adopt it into my own, as when one jack-pudding sets 
fire to the tow at Smithfield, another jack- pudding swallows 
it ! I received the letter into my hand with a very ill grace. 

But when I came to read it ! Why, this was one of 
the vilest letters ! What is it in human nature that 
causes a man to require his friend to do things that he 
dares not ask another ; or if he dare, that he knows an- 
other could not be found mean enough to do ? I blushed 
for Pope. I could do nothing, for a time, but blush. 
Aly words, that were rushing from my bosom, almost 
choked me. He saw my condition, and would have taken 
the paper out of my hands. I retained it. 

" This letter/' I said at last, tf is to Sir William 
Lemon. In it I confess my sorrow that I offended Lord 
Tyrconnel. I feel none. I beg his pardon. I will not. 
I crave his assistance. I despise it, and him. I hope he 
will ' not steel his heart against so small a relation/ 

D n him ! What care I what he does with his heart 

for or against me ? So small a relation ? How small ? 
slightly connected — or small — poor, low in the world? 
Upon my honour, Mr. Pope, I take this letter to be re- 
markably small. Suppose I tear it into very small pieces, 
and fling it out of your window?'' and I did so. 

Pope attempted to excuse himself, but lamely ; and 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



afterwards to rally me upon my pride, but very awkwardly. 
He must pardon me for saying he looked smaller than 
usual upon that occasion. 

I explained to him, that even had my conduct towards 
Lord Tyrconnel been culpable — as, upon my life, I be- 
lieved the fault to have lain entirely on his side, yet that 
the letter I had just destroyed was not such an one as a 
gentleman, however greatly in distress, should have written. 
I put it to him, whether Lord Tyrconnel and Mrs. Brett 
would not be too glad to produce such a letter, as an an- 
swer to every charge I had brought, or might hereafter 
choose to bring, against them ? 

I wonder Pope bore with my plain speech as he did ; 
but what is a man to do or to say — a man of sense and 
feeling, when it is shown to him, all on a sudden, that he 
has done a very foolish thing, and has just been counselling 
his friend to do a very base one ? 

Without entering, therefore, perhaps, into my feelings, 
or appeasing them, he saw at once the reasonableness of 
my objections, and agreed with me, that the letter was 
rightly destroyed, and assuring me of his continued friend- 
ship, and that I might rely upon twenty guineas a-year 
from him, he permitted me to depart. 

But not these assurances could heal the wound he had 
inflicted upon me. This was the unkindest cut of all. I 
could not believe that Pope imagined I could transcribe 
such a letter, or permit it to be sent in my name. It was 
a sly manner — I had another word than sly at my pen's 
end, a more appropriate word, but I forbear — it was a 
sly manner of telling me his opinion of the figure I had 
made in my quarrel with Lord Tyrconnel. 

I could not help relating the substance of this interview 
to Johnson. 

" Mr. Johnson," said I, in conclusion, " had fortune 
treated you as she has dealt by me — had your own im- 
prudence, which, perhaps, is my case, reduced you to ray 
extremity, and you had been requested to transcribe such 
a letter, believing the appeal made in it would prove suc- 
cessful — would you have done so ? " 

He made one of his ugly, majestic faces, threw his arms 
up into the air, and took the room in three giant strides* 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



443 



" No ! n in a burst of thunder. " No ! I would not." 

u And you do not think the better of Pope for urging 
me to do so ? " 

w I admire Pope, Mr. Savage ; you know it. He is a 
man of genius ; but, sir, I do not think the better of Pope 
— I think very much the worse of Pope/' 

Pope will turn pale, indeed, should he ever read this. 



CHAPTER XL 

IS WHICH RICHARD SAVAGE TAKES HIS FAREWELL OF LONDON, 
AND OF ONE WHOM IT HAD BEEN WELL IF HE HAD STRIVES 10 
DESERVE : IN CONCLUSION, HIS GOOD RESOLUTIONS, AND HOW 
THF1R EFFECT WAS ANTICIPATED. 

The reader has probably inquired, ere this, what has be- 
come of Miss Wilfred ? It is very likely he may likewise 
have desired to know whether I stopped short in my pur- 
suit of the dear fugitive, or renewing it, whether I cast 
myself at the feet of one whom I had so deeply and 
wantonly injured, and succeeded in obtaining her forgive- 
ness. I will satisfy his curiosity. 

My rupture with Lord Tyrconnel had been long fore- 
seen by me, but in no manner provided against, so that, 
no sooner had I left his house than I was again flung back 
upon the world, without any available resource but such 
as the knowledge of my quarrel with my patron would 
immediately extinguish. Still, I did not relax my en- 
deavours to discover whither Elizabeth had flown. Per- 
haps, the knowledge that my recent misfortune (for so I 
knew she would deem it) would plead in my behalf, some- 
what mitigated the remorse 1 could not but feel at having 
so basely insulted her; and anxious beyond all things else 
in the world to clear myself (before heaven, this is the 
truth !) from the imputation by others, or the suspicion in 
her own mind — that I had coolly meditated a design 
against her honour, 1 continued my search with unabated 
perseverance for a month — but in vain. By this time, 1 
was reduced to great necessity. Tyrconnel, base beast ! 
had seized upon my clothes, and I was compelled to lie 



444 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



hid in obscurity. As these necessities became extreme, a 
sense of utter abasement, of deep shame, overcame me. 
Had I known where to have found her — could I have 
presented myself before her — I had been ashamed to 
meet her eyes — those eyes that I had once loved to gaze 
upon. ec Coxcomb once, and now poverty-stricken, out- 
at-elbows rogue ! thou wilt now, perhaps, prance forth, 
thy hat under thy arm, — so will its defects better be 
hidden (but where is thy flowing periwig?) and renew 
thy vile proposition : or wilt thou rather play the penitent, 
and sue for leave to bring with thee a demure parson,, albeit 
fee from thy pocket will never touch the sacerdotal palm?" 

Thus would I rate myself. But often denouncing one's 
own vice or folly, makes one no better, although many 
appear to think so, and although I derived a sort of sorry 
self-esteem from the process. 

I heard at last that she was living with Lady Trevor ; 
and shortly afterwards received a letter from her. It was 
full of the most tender forgiveness — of the most persua- 
sive earnestness of love. She appealed to my reason, to 
my feelings, to my pride. She exhorted me to exercise, 
with diligence, the talents which, she said, heaven had 
bestowed upon me — to strive against the seductions of vice, 
to yearn after the rewards of virtue. She assured me she 
would never be the wife of another, and told me that when 
I was worthy of myself I was more than worthy of her. 

O, thou woman of all the world ! thou who, if all the 
world were perplexed with fiends — with Bretts — would 
yet redeem the name of woman ! Lost, indeed, have I 
been, since I lost thee ! Alas ! alas ! that a man should 
bring himself to this : that the exhortation, even of one 
whom he loves better than life should be — not thrown 
away, for it is treasured — but — laid to a heart which 
has no longer the power to clasp it. The sinking soul (so 
to speak) descending with eyes upturned, sees the heaven 
it covets, and falls into bottomless perdition which it sees 
not — but feels. 

I returned such an answer to this letter as a man, who 
had yet a heart in his bosom with a throb in it, and eyes 
in his head that have not lost the cause, nor the course of 
tears, may be supposed, with a beating heart and eyes that 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



445 



saw not what his hand wrote, to have written, I pro- 
tested, with a solemnity of truth it was impossible to doubt, 
that I had not known a moment's peace since our separa- 
tion ; — I expressed my deep and sincere contrition for 
the insult I had offered her; — I declared that my rever- 
ence of her goodness was even greater, if the sentiments 
were separable, than my love of herself. I promised to 
conform to her wishes, which were my own. 

If I did not do so, it is because I could not ; — I strove 
and failed. My will was toward good — stood tiptoe, 
with hands out-stretched towards the sky. I will have no 
philosopher, or fool, though he have been brayed in a 
mortar, to tell me I had not failed had I more strongly 
striven. I tell him nay. The will, could it do as it 
pleased, would be an angel in heaven, and not only so, 
but worthy of heaven. Sometimes I think — is it now 
too late ? that had I prayed — but prayers were ever far 
from me — wings had been lent to will, which might then 
have been indeed an angel ! 

I received other letters from time to time, and answered 
them in a like manner. But days glided away, and years 
— and my promises remained unfulfilled ; nay, at the ex- 
piration of each year, there was less chance of their fulfil- 
ment. I saw her, indeed, several times, at long intervals, 
when I would not have been seen by her for the world ; 
but never from the moment of our separation till the even- 
ing I am about to record, did I speak to her, or hear her 
voice. I must mention, also, that I had received many 
packets containing money, which were left for me at a 
coffee-house, during the above period, and that it was only 
after this evening that I guessed whence they came. That 
I guessed rightly I am so assured that I will not say my 
pride forbade me to ascertain. My pride ought to have 
done something for me. I have been a kind and indul- 
gent protector of it. 1 fear, like a spoiled child, it has 
flown in the face of its parent. 

And now I come to the 

" last scene of all 

That ends this strange, eventful history." — 

My kind dictatorial friends must have their way. I 
must be banished from London for ever. I should do no 



446 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



good there. They would have it so. Remonstrance or 
complaint, or resentment was useless. I was compelled, 
therefore, to feign an acquiescence in their wishes : to 
feign, because what they intended as perpetual banish- 
ment, I designed should be merely temporary rustication. 
My intention was to retire to Wales, and finish my tragedy : 
that completed, to return to London, to bring it upon the 
stage, and with the profits in my fist to wait upon my 
persecuting benefactors severally, and to thrust into their 
hands the money they had advanced to me. 

They had sent a tailor to me to measure me for a new 
suit of clothes — (that insult shall be discharged at the 
same time, with the other debts,) and on the following 
week I was to be wafted to Llanelly. 

It was a Sunday afternoon, declining into evening. I 
had heard — for the room I occupied was a back room on 
the ground floor, and not as poets use, the garret — I had 
heard the old woman of the house remark to a neighbour 
gossip, as she returned home with her baked meat, that it 
was a fine day. I guessed as much as I lay on my truckle 
bed ; for when the sun shone, a whiter light came down 
between my wretched casement and a high wall, about a 
yard in distance from it. 

I had a reason for lying a-bed, which your men of 
spread cloths, your daily raisers of the knife and fork will 
hardly understand : I was without money or food, and 
had fared scantily the day before. As the light receded 
from the window, however, I bethought me of rising ; 
and, since no future opportunity might be afforded me, I 
resolved upon bending my steps to a spot, a visit to which 
I had long meditated as a duty. A strange and deep 
melancholy, which had settled upon my spirits when I 
awoke in the early morning, and which, though I mar- 
shalled my old philosophy to disperse it, increased upon 
me, as the day w r ore, favoured my intention, and to St. 
James's churchyard — to Ludlow's grave therein — I di- 
rected my course. 

On my way, I met my old friend Mrs. Martin, with 
whom I had kept up an acquaintance in adverse times, 
and in prosperity. She was going to see her son Simon, 
who had left the army and w r as now one of the turnkeys 



K1CHARD SAVAGE. 



447 



of the Fleet Prison, within the liberties of which I had 
prudently taken my lodging. The worthy old creature 
was rejoiced to see me. She recalled old times, and dwelt 
upon them, crying at one moment, laughing at the next. 
She wrung my hands, calling me a dear, sweet, unfortunate 
gentleman, and wanted to force upon me some small 
money, which her poor hard hands, I doubt not, had 
earned most hardly. The simple tones, the rapturous 
phrase of this dear genuine woman affected me, I cannot 
say how strongly, and I was glad to break away from her, 
which I did abruptly. 

I needed no softening to approach the grave of Ludlow. 
I hung over it in rapt and mournful reflection. My gentle 
— my honest friend ! whose tender heart, my frowardness, 
my obstinacy, my ingratitude, had so often made to bleed, 
whose life was bound up in mine — who loved me ! In 
imagination, I supposed him to have been a witness to all 
the sufferings I had endured since his eyes closed upon 
me. That thought (how much more than my misfortunes 
had ever done !) wrung me. The expectations he had in- 
dulged — the hopes he had cherished of me — which, per- 
haps, thrilled along the thread of life at the very moment 
it snapped for ever — all destroyed, all come to nought ! 
And this at last ! a wretch returning to a dead man's 
grave, craving a like resolution with himself of the weary 
flesh into the dust whereof it was composed — it may be 
(oh, God ! there was that hideous wish !) an extinction, 
likewise, of the soul which it contained. 

The beadle warned me from the grave once, and again. 
I retired before him without a word. It was evening 
service. I entered the church modestly, for the temple of 
God in England is no place for misery that w r ears old 
woollen. The woman, whose duty it was to open the 
pew-doors, was grounded in this religion. She scanned 
me closely, and contemptuously, but presently motioned 
me to go into an obscure pew at the entrance of the church. 
I did so, and was the sole occupant of it during the ser- 
vice. Sinners, who came to pray for the mediation of the 
meek and lowly Jesus, shrank from the contamination of 
proximity to me. 

How many years since I had entered a church ! The 



448 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



bitterness that sometimes, though not often, possessed me, 
rose upon my mind as I gazed around me. " Dreadful, 
decent rogues,, the major part of these; mumbling prayers 
they feel not ; trembling upon their knees in mock devo- 
tion ; uttering and muttering responses to appeals for 
mercy, whilst their hearts are hatching the young of wrath 
and persecution, which soon with strong-plumed pinion 
shall go forth to devour and to destroy." 

But these unworthy thoughts dispersed, were chased 
away when the psalm was given out ; when the organ 
heaved forth its volumes, its throes of ravishing and still- 
swelling sound, — when the accordant voices of the children 
gushed out, making one full, concurrent, sublime, descant 
of prayer, of praise, of petition. My heart wept within 
me from all its issues ; my soul sank prostrate before the 
altar. I grasped the partition with my hands or I should 
have fallen upon the ground ; the sweat hung heavy upon 
my forehead, a trembling shook my whole frame. 

Dark as was the corner into which I had slunk, the 
pew-opener saw my ghastly face through the obscurity. 
She made signs to me to leave the church ; but I stood, or 
rather, continued upright, where I was, spell-bound, fixed. 
To have left the place, I must have been dragged thence. 

Nor did I recover my calmness during the delivery of 
the sermon. The preacher was a simple, unaffected, and 
yet earnest man; he spoke of truths that I had heard 
when I was a boy, and in almost the self-same language. 
I had not been a scoffer, for I never was a trifler or a fool. 
Devoutly believing in a God, and knowing perfectly well 
the beauty and dignity of virtue, still I had contented 
myself, during my whole life, with avowing my belief 
when it was necessary, and maintaining my opinions when 
they were called for. I was not a man in the practice of 
piety, either to myself or to the world ; that is to say, 1 
had never prayed in secret that God might hear, or gone to 
church that man might see. 

Shall I wrong truth so deeply as to assert that this ac- 
cidental visit to St. James's church made a convert or a 
penitent of me ? No, moved as I was, it was no motion 
from heaven that called me thither. It was the memory 
of the past that smote me, not apprehensions of the future. 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



449 



The service being ended, I would have left, but had a 
difficulty in rinding my hat. In the meanwhile, a con- 
course of gaily attired people crowded the aisle. My dress 
forbade the presumption of thrusting myself amongst them. 
I was fain, therefore, to wait till they were passed by. 

But two or three remained on this side of the church, 
and these not so advanced towards the entrance as to ob- 
struct the opening of my pew. As I stepped out, a short 
sharp cry caused me to turn my head. My arm was at 
the same instant gently, but quickly, laid hold upon. 

" Richard ! — Mr. Savage ! " 

Had I not known the voice, I had hardly recognised 
that face — though it was the face of Elizabeth Wilfred. 
Not that the face was changed, but its expression, which 
was of the most profound melancholy. The joy of seeing 
me (for joy it was) irradiated for a moment that aspect of 
sorrow^ making it more sweetly piteous. A heavy groan 
burst from my bosom when I beheld her; — a groan of 
shame — of contrition — of despair. But mouths were 
a-gape, and the old pew-opener w r as about to interfere. 
They might well marvel at a recognition between two such 
persons ! I turned, and fled out of the church. 

She followed, and overtook me. 

" For heaven's sake, dear Richard, do not leave me. I 
must not lose you again. Stay for me one moment, while 
I tell the coachman to drive home. Promise me ; say that 
you will wait till I return." 

I answered, "I will wait." Perplexed — confounded — I 
knew not what to do or to say. She came back in a minute. 

" Where are you going?" she said; "you must let 
me accompany you. You are very ill, Richard. I wish 
you would take my arm. We are observed here." 

I knew, for I had seen, that we w r ere observed ; indeed, 
some dozen humane or inquisitive people, who had been 
standing a short distance from us, were now approaching 
at several quarters haltingly. A circle would soon have 
formed around us. I made an effort to rouse myself, 
although scarce able to stand, and moved towards the gate 
of the churchyard, Elizabeth supporting me. 

She beckoned to a coach. 

G G 



450 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



" Whither are you going, dear Richard ? " 

u Home — home; I must go home." 

I whispered my direction to the driver, and was helped 
into the coach. She was instantly at my side. 

Few words were exchanged between us, during the time 
we were in the coach. At intervals, she pressed my hand, 
which she held between her own, and inquired whether I 
was better ; questions which I answered in the affirmative. 
And if an unnatural strength, wrought out of a determin- 
ation to acquit myself with firmness through a fearful im- 
pending scene — if this, which I summoned together, and 
held, may be called being better — I was so. 

I dreaded that she should see where I lodged. My 
squalid wretchedness of figure had been seen : could I have 
fled, that might have been borne — that had passed. But 
now, by Heaven ! when the coach stopped, was the most 
terrible moment of my life. Had it been a Tyburn cart, 
and I in it, about to be paraded before the yelling mob, a 
craven murderer, I could not have felt a more sickening 
sense of abject terror. 

We got out of the coach. I told the driver to wait, 
that we might carry the lady to her own house. The 
wretch bowed to the gentleman with nauseous gravity — a 
jaw-locked grin. My old woman came to the door, won- 
dering whether her spectacles were bewitched. Such light 
and such darkness together ! " Never had so fine a lady 
stepped over her threshold before so said the old woman 
on the following day. True, Mrs. Markham, very true ! 

I borrowed the candle from her, and led the way to my 
room. Closing the door upon us, I set down the light 
upon the table, and sank upon a box placed against the wall. 

6i I am at home. Dearest, best of women, leave me. 
Elizabeth Wilfred, I implore you, leave me." 

(i Here ?" surveying the apartment with a chilly shud- 
der — " here ? O Richard ! " 

" Here. This is where I live — my home. I am 
better now." 

She came and sat down by my side, and placed her arm 
around me, the hand resting on my shoulder. I durst net 
look upon her, and yet I could not help doing so. It was 
maddening to see that sweet face, as she wiped my damp 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



451 



forehead with her handkerchief, with a smile upon her 
lips, although her eyes began to fill with tears. Her gentle 
nature could not bear to see the wretched ruin — the 
ghastly wreck before her. Her bosom heaved — a sob 
choked her utterance. She threw herself into my arms, her 
head upon my breast, and burst into a passion of weeping. 

" Great God of heaven ! this is too much — too much !" 
I exclaimed, almost with a shriek — striving to disengage 
myself ; but very gently now, for she would cling to me. 

cc Elizabeth, if you have pity, if a miserable man may 
claim " 

(C Yes, yes, forgive me, dear Richard, I would not pain 
you — it is but joy that I have seen you once again." 

That dear falsehood might be forgiven. The joy of 
seeing me ! Joy hath its tears, 'tis true ; but never such 
tears upon such a face. The misery of seeing me thus — 
this drew forth those tears. 

She wiped them from her face, and endeavoured at 
calmness ; but sobs would rise at intervals. 

" Do let me speak," she said, at length ; u you must not 
stay here. It is not fit that Richard Savage should live 
here. 1 have money. What is it, you know, dear sir ? 
You never would permit it to be mentioned. From those 
we love, I have heard you say, it is a mark of love and of 
confidence to receive it. I am sure you will not disdain 
to accept it from me. You will not be so unkind to me 
as to refuse it. Come, now," tenderly, and looking me 
appealingly in the face. 

This speech, to which at one time I had listened with 
rapture, now was torture to me to hear. I left my seat 
hastily. She also arose, and in alarm. Taking her hands 
between my own, I held her my arms' distance from me, 
my teeth clenched, my eyes fixed upon her with fond 
bitterness. 

u Thou loveliest, gentlest, most cruel creature \" I ex- 
claimed ; (C and is it thus you requite the wrong I have 
done you? Is it thus you damn me with generosity I 
deserve not, with tenderness that makes me mad, with pity 
that blasts me? Am" I not sunk enough already — abased 
— degraded ? Oh, Elizabeth ! that my brain be not rent 

G G 2 



452 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



in twain, that my heart burst not asunder ; — leave me — 
leave me/' and I stamped upon the ground ; C( on my 
knees, I pray you to leave me." 

C( I would not offend you for the world/' she cried, in 
agitation, wringing my hands ; ce for mercy's sake, com- 
pose yourself. I wi]l leave you. Do you wish, Richard, 
that I should leave you ? " 

" Oh, my God ! yes — yes — yes — " falling upon the 
ground at her feet, and dashing my fists upon the floor, 
(C I cannot hear this — cannot bear it*" 

" Hysterica passio ! down, thou climbing sorrow ; " 

But it would not down. Such ravings as devils might have 
heard — perhaps, did hear, rejoicingly, followed. 

She was at my side — on her knees, at my side. " I 
will go," she said, attempting to soothe me. " I will go. 
I did not know my presence would have disturbed you so, 
or I would not have intruded. Pray forgive me, I will 
rid you of my sight directly ; but I cannot leave you till 
you are more yourself." That piteous imploring face close 
to mine, those hands pressing my burning temples ! Nature 
will have way. With a deep groan I hid my face, and 
wept aloud like a child. Oh ! that then the world had 
passed away from me ! 

How long it was ere I recovered from this paroxysm I 
know not. When I did so, I discovered Elizabeth sitting 
near me on the chest, trembling violently, her hands clasped 
before her, and paler than ever before I saw the face of 
woman. 

I arose collected, the man of yesterday, or of to-morrow, 
and seated myself by her side. " Elizabeth," I said, fl you 
have witnessed a strange weakness. I am ashamed of 
myself; but it is the first and last." Then kissing her 
hands fervently, " I dare not call you my love, though 
that I love you, how much more than my life, Heaven is 
my witness, who knows how valueless life is to me." 

She sighed. iC Oh, Richard ! not now such words. We 
are friends, are we not ? " 

" Blessed, admirable woman, yes : and I am now happy 
beyond expression that I have seen you once more before 
1 leave London, perhaps, for ever. I thank God for it, 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



453 



and shall learn to thank Him for all things, knowing that 
His providence watches over me. Our meeting proves it." 

It was more than an hour after this ere she left me. 
Saying she would see me on the following day, she, at 
length, arose. I handed her to the door, and passing my 
arm around her waist, drew her gently towards me, and 
kissed her. 

" God will blees you, my Elizabeth, even for your kind- 
ness to so sad a wretch as Richard Savage." 

(e You must not talk so, Richard," she replied. "He 
will bless you, too, when you ask His blessing." 

When I could no longer hear the coach- wheels, I re- 
turned to my room. She had left her purse upon the 
seat. By mistake, I thought, at the first instant — but 
no. All the blood in my body rushed to my face. Any 
other man in the world would have shrunk, probably, even 
to think how he looked at such a moment. Not I. I 
raised the bit of glass from the mantel-piece, and gazed at 
this proud, honourable, lofty — scoundrel! Pitiful — very- 
pitiful was that countenance ! 

Averse as I had been from leaving London, from this 
night I was as anxious to go as my friends could be that 
I should be gone. I saw Elizabeth Wilfred every day 
until my departure. I promised a thorough amendment 
of my life, and intended to set about it. She believed me, 
and was happy. 

My friend Johnson attended me to the coach, murmur- 
ing comfort and philosophy, whilst the tears stood in his 
eyes. Nor was I less affected. I embraced him tenderly, 
and springing into the coach, if not with a light, with a 
buoyant heart, I bade farewell to London for, as I believed 
and designed, a short time. Sight and sound of the vast 
city were soon lost to me. Longer, O London ! have I 
kept from thee than I contemplated ; but a few days 
longer, and I shall be with thee once again. Already the 
rumble of the leathern vehicle fills my ears — mine eyes 
are already full of thee. I come. Foes who have rejoiced 
that I retired, friends who will lament that I return — I 
come. A little older — a little sadder — a little, also, wiser. 

I have done. For why relate how time has gone with 
g g 3 



454 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



me since that day ? Wherefore tell how my subscribers (all 
except Pope,) have treated me ? I despise them too much 
to resent their baseness upon paper. To their faces I will 
speak, telling them that they professed to serve,, and have 
"betrayed me — that they proffered protection, and deserted 
me — that they engaged to support, and starved me. 

Were this a moral age, and it is not — and I a moralist, 
and I am none — the world might derive some profitable 
instruction from the long commentary I should append to 
this familiar abstract of the life of Richard Savage, which 
I am now about to close. For, oh I patient and courteous 
reader, (and you must be both if you have followed me 
thus far,) there is a moral in it. 

Time lost or wasted — opportunities neglected or de- 
spised — talents misused or for the most part misapplied — 
a life of debts., of dependence, of disgrace, of distress — 
the end a gaol — surely, though it be an old lesson, 
there is scope here for a new version of it. 

Be it mine to show that the lesson has not been lost 
upon me. Let my future course manifest, that a life begun 
and continued in shame, may yet be completed with 
honour. But to prophesy of my future veil-doing in a 
gaol is somewhat premature. I will not do so, lest the 
world, to employ Milton's simile, should pronounce me to 
be like old Proteus, who could utter oracles only after he 
was caught and bound. 

A security for my future good behaviour will be found 
in these pages, after they have passed into print. Should I 
swerve, or fall off, will they not rise in judgment against me ? 

For what they contain, or for their author, at present I 
ask no allowance. I deprecate pity or compassion ; 1 am 
proof against censure. But should there be one, into 
whose hands these pages may fall, virtuous himself, and 
the cause of virtue in others ; — a good father of good 
children — a good husband of a good wife — should such a 
man be disposed altogether to condemn me, to him I say in 
words of my own,which he will find upon my title-page : — 

no mother's care 

Shielded my infant innocence with prayer ; 

No lather's "guardian hand my youth maintain'd, 

CalJ'd forth my virtues, or from vice restraki'd. 

Gentle reader, — farewell ! 



RICHARD SAVAGE, 



455 



CONCLUSION. 

FROM MR. THOMAS DAGGE TO MR. SAMUEL JOHNSON, TO THE CARE 
OF MR. EDWARD CAVE, ST. JOHN'S GATE, LONDON. 

Respected Sir ! 

Your letter requests a more particular account of the 
melancholy events that have recently taken place in this 
prison ; and you wish me to communicate as much as I 
know of Mr. Savage's manner of life during his stay in 
Bristol, and of his behaviour while under confinement. 

I hasten to comply with your wishes ; but I regret to 
inform you that I have no particular information to impart, 
as to the course of life pursued by your friend, before he 
entered this gaol. All that I know — for Mr. Savage 
seldom adverted to any circumstances connected with his 
stay at Bristol — has been derived from Mr. Sondes,, a 
gentleman who was very much the friend of Mr. Savage, 
who accompanied him to prison, and who occasionally 
visited him, until within the last two months when, I 
believe, a misunderstanding arose between them, respecting 
a satire which Mr. Savage had threatened to write against 
the inhabitants of this city. 

Mr. Sondes informed me that Mr. Savage had led a 
very irregular and dissipated life, since his coming to Bris- 
tol ; that several subscriptions had been entered into for 
him, the money raised by which he had squandered in the 
most thoughtless manner ; that he had frequently been 
brought to the lowest state of necessity — that is to say, to 
the brink of starvation ; that his friends, however, willing 
to serve him, had been exceedingly perplexed to know how 
they could do so, seeing that he was not to be trusted with 
money ; and that they had at last desisted, satisfied that 
nothing whatever was to be done with him, or for him. 

He added, that whatever was the distress of Mr. Savage, 
and notwithstanding that it was brought on, for the most 
part, by his own imprudence, lie bore the misery it entailed 
upon him with fortitude, which might be called magna- 
nimity. He was at all times self-possessed and cheerful 
in company, commonly leading the conversation, which he 
sustained with the utmost sprightliness and spirit. He 
g g 4 



456 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



frequently, before his own immediate friends, made volun- 
tary confessions of his want of foresight and worldly 
wisdom, and flattered himself with promises of amend- 
ment ; flattered himself, because however earnestly and 
sincerely he might, at the moment, have designed to work 
out his good intentions, it seemed that he never had resolu- 
tion sufficient to set about so doing. 

I have already, sir, told you that he was brought to this 
gaol accompanied by Mr. Sondes. This was in the latter 
end of January last. He had been arrested at the suit of 
a Mrs. Read, the hostess of a small public house in an ob- 
scure part of this city, for a debt of eight pounds. In the 
hope, that by an application to some of his friends in Lon- 
don and elsewhere, he should be enabled to defray the 
debt, he had been staying at a sponging-house during the 
space of a fortnight ; but not succeeding (although he him- 
self told me the celebrated Mr. Nash of Bath kindly sent 
him five pounds) he at last made up his mind to render 
himself to prison, 

His appearance, sir, greatly prepossessed me in his favour. 
I was much impressed, if I may use the phrase, with the 
modest dignity of his deportment, and charmed by his 
mildness and affability. I allotted him the best room then 
vacant, and requested that he would do me the favour, so 
long as it was his misfortune to remain in my custody, cf 
taking his meals at my table. 

I hope, sir, you will not think that I am unduly taking 
credit to myself for any kindness I may have shown this 
unfortunate gentleman ; but I am anxious that you should 
have the pleasure of knowing that your friend was made as 
comfortable as a man, in his unhappy condition, and in 
such a place, could be. 

Mr. Savage very soon appeared to make himself perfectly 
easy, accommodating himself to the novel situation in which 
he was cast, with extraordinary readiness. A considerable 
portion of each day was spent in his own room, reading- 
such books, (and he was in no wise particular as to the 
subjects on which they treated), as I could borrow for his 
amusement — or in writing. His evening was commonly 
passed with myself and with Mr. Price, our chaplain, a 
gentleman of great piety and benevolence. 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



457 



But sometimes he would take the range of the gaol, and 
employ his hours in conversation with the other prisoners ; 
and it is observable that he made no distinction, as to his 
readiness to talk, or willingness to listen, between such 
as were, like himself, confined for debt, or criminals. For 
either, indeed, he would with pleasure perform any office 
of kindness or of humanity that might be requested of him, 
writing letters for them to their creditors or prosecutors, 
whether in his own person or in theirs, of intercession 
or of entreaty. I must not omit to add, since you wish so 
particular an account of your friend's proceedings, that 
whenever he had money, he would treat them to liquor, of 
which he would himself partake ; upon which occasions he 
took the chair, presiding over his associates (who, you may 
be sure, one and all loved him) with great seeming hilarity. 

On one occasion, I remember, Mr. Sondes visited him 
when he was thus disposed. Mr. Sondes ventured a re- 
monstrance, reminding him how he degraded himself by 
keeping such low and base company. Mr. Savage turned 
upon him, and said very seriously (these, to the best of 
my remembrance, were the words) : 

" Sir, I thought you knew that 1 permit neither dictation 
nor remonstrance — no, nor the gentlest reprehension from 
any man — least of all from any man who calls himself my 
friend. I have seen a great deal more of life, from the 
highest to the lowest, than yourself ; and I have found 
what you call base company in high places as well as low. 
Let me tell you, Sondes," he added, more gaily, ce poverty 
makes not so many rogues as riches make fools. What 
will you lay, there is not better material in any one of these 
rogues, out of which a good man might have been made, 
than exists in you or me ? i see no more virtue in bawling 
' vice ! ' than wisdom in patting one dog, because another's 
mad over the way." 

I hasten to relate that of which you require the most 
particular information. 

On the evening of the 24th of July, Mr. Savage, Mr. 
Price, and I were enjoying a cheerful glass, when one of 
my men brought up a letter to Mr. Savage, which had just 
been delivered by the postman. Mr. Savage had for some 
days past been congratulating himself on the prospect of his 



458 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



speedy release from this place, and of his return to London. 
He told us that Mr. Pope had directed his debts to be 
looked into, with a view to their settlement, and that he 
had furnished him with a correct list of them. You may 
imagine, sir, the pleasure of Mr. Price and myself, when, 
upon taking the letter into his hands, we heard the delighted 
words ee from Pope ! " proceed from his lips. 

Alas, sir ! our pleasure was not only premature, but 
short-lived. As he read the letter, his countenance turned 
from pale to red by turns, and when he had completed its pe- 
rusal, he emptied his glass, and arose hastily without a word. 

" Good news, sir, I hope ? " said Mr. Price. 

" You shall see, gentlemen," he replied, throwing the 
letter towards us. Nay, you may read it. D — tion ! 
crooked little rascal ! " muttering other words which I could 
not hear, as he paced the room. 

The letter was filled with warm resentment of what 
Mr. Pope called the ingratitude of Mr. Savage. It seems, he 
charged him with having complained of Mr. Pope's treat- 
ment of him to one Henley, a person for whom the writer 
expressed a very great contempt ; and the letter concluded 
by saying that he should do no more for Mr. Savage ; and 
desired never to hear of or to see him again. 

" Why, sir, there must be some mistake here," observed 
Mr. Price, when he had read the letter. " This is a gross 
calumny. We have ourselves heard you many times speak 
in the highest terms of Mr. Pope ! " 

" No, Mr. Price," he replied, and now we observed an 
angry white upon his face, his eyes starting forth wildly ; 
" there is no mistake — there is no calumny — nor shall 
you again hear me speak in high terms of Mr. Pope. Why . 
the base distortion ! the rascally, little, awry rogue ! And, 
because he desires to discontinue his vile twenty guineas, 
he must trump up this poor lie ! But this is like him, 
sir — this is his way. The fellow's soul is more warped 
than his carcass." 

I was grieved to hear him speak thus of Mr. Pope, to 
whom he was undoubtedly under great obligation, and of 
whose kindness he had hitherto entertained so just a sense. 
I was half minded to speak; but he broke forth again. 

iC He wanted prostration, I take it," he cried with a 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



459 



laugh that was quite shocking ; " come, when am I to 
commence grovelling ? When am I to hegin to crawl ? 
Why not now ? Mr. Dagge," turning round sharply upon 
me, " I owe you many kindnesses. I esteem you. You 
remind me in person and in heart of one whom I am 
never likely to forget. What say you ? " 

ec I know not what you mean, sir," I replied. 

(i You remind me of Ludlow — a good fellow in his 
day. Will you have me fall at your feet ? Will you have 
me lick your shoe-latchet ? Shall I down ? Shall I down? " 

cc For God's sake, Mr. Savage ! " said I, rising and 
taking his hand. He was absolutely, sir, about to throw 
himself at my feet. 

" Very well — you will not. I thank you ! " and he 
wrung my hand. " You are a worthy man." 

He turned aside, and walked to the other end of the 
room, hut presently returning, seized the candlestick, and 
hurried to the door. u Good night, gentlemen ; good night ! " 

He took Mr. Pope's letter with him. W e saw him no 
more that evening. 

On the following morning I was told that Mr. Savage 
desired to see me. I went up to him. He was in bed. 
He requested that I would be so kind as to forward a let- 
ter, which he handed me, to the post-office. It was ad- 
dressed to Mr. Pope. He looked extremely dispirited and 
unwell. I inquired how he felt. 

" Acute pains in the back, and an oppression on the 
chest," he replied ; " they will go off. I fear I made a 
fool of myself last night. I was drunk. I have answered 
Pope's charges, but the letter deserved no reply." 

In the evening, hearing that he had not touched his 
dinner, which had been sent up to him, I waited upon him 
again ; I feared he might be seriously ill, and begged him 
to tell me whether he was so. 

" Yes — yes," was his answer. c< I was about to say I 
fear I am growing worse — a strange word from a man to 
whom life has been long a burden. Shall I add to the 
many obligations I am under to you, Mr. Dagge, by re- 
questing you to let me have a sheet or two of writing 
paper ? I want to send a letter to my friend, Mr. Johnson." 

He said this very languidly. You may believe, sir, I 



460 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



was concerned to hear him speak in a tone so unusual, and 
with so much earnestness, of such a trifle. However, I 
provided him with the paper, and he wrote a letter to you, 
which was despatched that night, and which, it is needless 
to say, you received. 

He was so evidently worse the next day, that we called 
in a doctor. This gentleman, when he came down to us, 
gave a very unsatisfactory account of his patient. He said 
thero*was inflammation in the chest which might be re- 
duced ; but that Mr. Savage was suffering from a fever on 
the spirits. 

CQ That is your phrase for a broken heart ? " inquired 
Mr. Price. 

The doctor nodded his head. 

" If he do not rally, he is gone," said he. 

Upon this, Mr. Price thought it high time that he 
should attend Mr. Savage, and offer that spiritual con- 
solation of which all of us, in the prospect of death, have 
so great a need. He was with him more than an hour, 
and came back to me in great concern. 

Ci The poor gentleman," said he, ee is unfit to die. He 
will not listen to me. When I implored him to humble 
himself before his Maker, he started up in the bed crying, 
' I will hear no such impious talk. What did God say to 
Job out of the whirlwind? — "Gird up now thy loins, 
and answer me like a man ; " — and like a man must I 
strive to meet my Maker.' When he grew more calm, I 
ventured to speak of his mother. He gazed at me long and 
earnestly, as one to whom a new train of thought has sud- 
denly presented itself. He knitted his brows, but not in 
anger, and nodded his head tw T o or three times slowly. 
c Leave me, Mr. Price/ he said, turning from me, ' I will 
think of that. Yes, I must see to that.' " 

A melancholy change was observable in him on the fol- 
lowing morning. He said, that during the night he had 
been visited by horrible dreams, and desired to be left 
alone with Mr. Price. The worthy clergyman found him 
in a happy frame of mind. He forgave his mother freely 
and entirely, and protested with solemnity that he was now 
at peace with all the world. 

" Except one person," he added. " Mr. Price, I want 



ItlCHARD SAVAGE. 



461 



your help to untie this knot in my heart. I feel, spite of 
myself, resentment against Lord T yrconnel. Wrongs may 
be forgiven — are forgiven ; but insults rankle most — 
and last/' 

It was not long before Mr. Price wrought him to per- 
fect charity. 

iC Now, God's will be done with me," he said, " let me 
strive for pardon for myself. 1 have been a wicked sinner. 
If I might live — but that is idle. God's will be done." 

In the afternoon, I ventured to look in upon him. He 
called me towards him in a faint voice, extending his hand. 
I placed mine in it. He pressed my hand with both his 
own fervently, and thanked me in the most moving terms 
for what he was pleased to call my humanity and Christian 
kindness towards him. 

" You will oblige me," he said, at length, c: by bringing 
to me all the papers you find in yonder cupboard ? " 

Before I could bring them to him, he sank down upon 
the bed in an ecstasy of mental agony, burying his face in 
the clothes, which he grasped convulsively. 

6( Oh ! I am lonely — I am lonely," he groaned; "how 
will thy heart — thy heart of tenderness be riven, when 
thou hearest that I am gone — that I am dead ! " 

A face more filled with grief, when he again raised it, I 
never beheld, although it has been my lot to see woe in all 
its degrees and aspects. He then used these remarkable 
words : — 

" Yet I will not die raving/ — for, alas ! 
My whole life was a frenzy " 

Mr. Price thought they were to be met with in Shak- 
speare, but he cannot find them. 

" This," he said presently, taking up a bundle of papers, 
" is a tragedy, completed when I was in Wales. Mr. 
Dagge, 1 insist upon your acceptance of it. But I must 
have your sacred promise, that, should any overture be 
made to you from London, for the purchase of it, you will 
receive whatever may be offered. " 

I would have declined the present, on such terms, but 
he was not to be denied. (I must beg you, sir, to take 
notice that nothing on earth but a desire to give you the 
fullest information of the last moments of Mr. Savage, 



462 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



could induce me to mention this. Cheerfully will I yield 
possession of the play for the lowest sum that maybe named; 
for, if I may be so bold as to say so, I loved Mr. Savage ; 
I honour his memory, and I shall glory in his fame.) 

Mr. Price had entered the room while he was speaking. 

" And this/' he continued, taking up a large packet, 
" is my own life, written since I have been an inmate of 
this gaol. How death destroys our projects, and how the 
prospect of it alters the feelings that generated them ! I 
intended that it should be published — but no, — that 
must not be. I wish you, sir, when I am dead, to for- 
ward this to Miss Elizabeth Wilfred, at the house of Lord 
Trevor in London." His voice slightly faltered, ie She can 
forgive all." 

Mr. Price expressed a strong desire to read it. 

" I fear," said Mr. Savage, " you will hardly find its 
perusal worth your labour. I know not what you will 
think of it — or of me. Yes, you may, if you please, read it." 

And now, sir, I draw towards a close. After this. Mr. 
Savage sank rapidly. He declined gently, but firmly, all 
nourishment except some very thin drink, and preserved 
an almost entire silence. About eight o'clock on the fol- 
lowing evening, his hour was come. 

Mr. Price was praying aloud by his side, and I, a 
melancholy bystander, was watching on the other side of 
the bed, when my sister entered the room and beckoned 
me towards her. There was a lady below, she whispered 
to me, just arrived from London, who must see Mr. Savage. 
Ere she had yet finished her brief communication, the lady 
herself glided into the room like an apparition. It is im- 
possible, sir, to convey to you a notion of her countenance 
or of her manner. Her step was as light, as noiseless, as 
though she walked upon the air, and yet her gestures were 
rapid in the extreme. Her wandering eyes fixed them- 
selves upon the bed, and upon its occupant. 

44 Sir — - sir — good sir — you must let me go to him — 
Wilfred — Elizabeth Wilfred — come from London — 
merciful heavens ! " She flew towards the bed — 1 had 
not the power nor the inclination to detain her. 

Mr. Price had been so absorbed in the function of his 
sacred duty, that he had not heard the poor dear lady. Her 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



463 



visible presence alone aroused him. He gazed at her, as 
though she had been a phantom or a being of the higher 
world, and rising hastily, made room for her. 

In an instant, the lady was on her knees by the side of 
Mr. Savage. She placed her arm under his head, and en- 
deavoured, as I think, to raise it upon her bosom, but this 
her strength did not enable her to accomplish. 

cc My Richard — my love," she murmured in a voice of 
endearment ; " it is I — your own Elizabeth. Look upon 
me ; oh, in mercy's name look upon me. Are you happy, 
quite happy ? " 

When the dying man heard the sound of her voice, he 
started, I should rather say thrilled, so that the bed shook 
beneath him. He cast an eye of faint intelligence upon 
her, and recognized her. He struggled for utterance, and 
at length gasped : " Happy, most happy — dearest, best — " 
He could say no more. 

" And have you thought of your Elizabeth ? have you 
prayed for her ? " 

He raised his hand forth from the bed, and directed it 
towards her. It descended upon her face. She kissed it 
many times, and then laid it to her breast, gently clasped, 
gazing at him the while. 

At this time he passed away, but so softly, that we know 
not the exact instant. Perhaps, sir, the calmest moment of 
his life was that in which he relinquished it. 

Miss Wilfred was now sensible that Mr. Savage was no 
longer of this world. She declined her face to his, and 
kissed the cold lips and forehead fervently. We could not 
intrude upon a grief so profound, so sacred, so affecting, 
but looked on in silence, with tearful eyes. 

But my sister's services were now needed. The lady 
had sunk back senseless — lifeless. My sister, with the 
utmost tenderness, drew her from the bedside, and rang 
for restoratives. In the meanwhile, Mr. Price and myself 
drew near the corpse of our friend. We fell upon our 
knees, and Mr. Price offered up a prayer for the departed, 
on which I need not tell you I joined most devoutly. 

We were aroused at length by a loud outcry from my 
sister. 



464 



RICHARD SAVAGE. 



" Mr. Price ! Brother ! Come this way. The lady, 
I fear, is dead/' 

It was too true. She bad, indeed, sunk hack lifeless. 
While we were in prayer, another soul, as Mr. Price said 
afterwards, had gone from us, and was an angel in heaven. 

A few words more. We despatched a special messen- 
ger to Lord Trevor, giving an account of the lamentahle 
event. On the third day, two gentlemen, Mr. Grantley 
and Mr. Berners, arrived from London. The former, a 
person of very dignified deportment, handed me a letter. It 
was from Lady Trevor. It was written very incoherently, 
and was filled with afflicting lamentations upon the death 
of her sister. The dear creature, she said, had, they heard, 
received a letter early on the morning of her sudden and, 
to them, mysterious departure. 

It was your letter, sir, apprizing Miss Wilfred of the 
alarming illness of Mr. Savage. It was found in her 
hosom hy my sister, and was delivered to Mr. Grantley, 
who read its contents to us. 

Lady Trevor's letter proceeded to say that Miss 'Wil- 
fred had heen long in a very weak state of health, and had 
been positively commanded by her physician not to leave 
her room. So that her death, dear lady, was not to be 
wondered at. On the contrary, it is surprising she out- 
lived the journey ; for, we have since learned from a 
fellow-passenger, who, deeply interested by her appear- 
ance, watched where she came, that she could not be pre- 
vailed upon to take the slightest refreshment on the road. 

To a gentleman, sir, of your learning and piety, all 
reflections upon the events I have related would be not 
only superfluous but impertinent. This once unhappy, 
but now I trust, blessed pair were this morning buried 
side by side, in the churchyard of St. Peter's. 



THE END. 



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